This chapter studies the solar atmosphere's temporal variation, particularly the reverse in polarity of the solar magnetic field roughly every 11 years—a complete solar cycle occurs approximately every 22 years. The reason for this reversal must lie in the dynamo process operating at the tachocline, though a complete explanation is still awaited. This lack of understanding also underlies the scholars' inability to predict, on a first-principles basis, events like the recent deep and prolonged solar minimum. From the viewpoint of radiative input to the Earth, the chapter is interested in the variability of visible and UV radiation both across a typical solar cycle and, longer term, over many cycles. It also discusses how various solar and interplanetary parameters vary relative to the solar cycle.
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