Professor Nigel Weiss
Who I am
Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Astrophysics, University of
Cambridge; Fellow of Clare College; FRS.
Solar and Stellar Magnetic Fields, Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Nonlinear
Solar activity and global warming
The Sun's magnetic activity varies cyclically with a period of about 11
years and recent activity had been abnormally high for about 80 years.
As might have been expected, this prolonged grand maximum has come to an
end. The latest Sunspot Cycle 24 looks set to be the weakest for
a century; it is even conceivable that the Sun might be entering
a grand minimum, which would be expected to have a mild cooling effect on
the Earth's climate. I have always maintained, however, that any
temperature changes caused by variations in solar activity are small
compared to the global warming that we are already experiencing, and very
small compared to what will happen if we continue to
burn fossil fuel at the present rate.
Tobias, S.M. & Weiss, N.O. ``The solar dynamo and the tachocline'',
in The Solar Tachocline, ed. D.W. Hughes, R. Rosner & N.O. Weiss,
Cambridge University Press, pp. 319--350, 2007.
Tobias, S.M. & Weiss, N.O. ``Stellar dynamos'', in Mathematical
Aspects of Natural Dynamos, ed. E. Dormy & A.M. Soward,
Grenoble Sciences/CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 281--311, 2007.
Isobe, H., Proctor, M.R.E. & Weiss, N.O. ``Convection-driven emergence
of granular scale magnetic field and its role in coronal heating and
solar wind acceleration'', Ap. J. Lett. 679, L57--L60, 2008.
Bushby, P.J., Houghton, S.M., Proctor, M.R.E. & Weiss, N.O.
``Numerical simulations of magnetic flux concentration in the quiet Sun'',
Mon. Not. Roy. Astr. Soc. 387, 698--706, 2008.
Brummell, N.H., Tobias, S.M., Thomas, J.H. & Weiss, N.O.
``Flux pumping and magnetic fields in the outer penumbra of a sunspot'',
Astrophys. J. 686, 1454--1465, 2008.
Abreu, J.A., Beer, J., Steinhilber, S., Tobias, S.M. & Weiss, N.O.
``For how long will the current grand maximum of solar activity persist?''
Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20109, 2008.
Thomas, J.H. & Weiss, N.O. Sunspots and Starspots, Cambridge
University Press, 2008.
Weiss, N.O. & Thompson, M.J. ``The solar dynamo'', Space Sci. Rev.
144, 53--66, 2009.
Balbus, S.A., Bonart, J., Latter, H. & Weiss, N.O. ``On differential
rotation and convection in the Sun'', Mon. Not. Roy. Astr. Soc.
400, 176--182, 2009.
Balbus, S.A. & Weiss, N.O. ``Differential rotation in fully
convective stars'', Mon. Not. Roy. Astr. Soc.
404, 1263--1271, 2010.
Weiss, N.O.``Modulation of the sunspot cycle'', Astron. Geophys.
51, 3.9--3.15, 2010.
Proctor, M.R.E., Weiss, N.O., Thompson, S.D & Roxburgh, N.T.
``Effects of boundary conditions on the onset of convection with tilted
magnetic fields'', Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid. Dyn.
105, 82-89, 2011.
Weiss, N.O. ``Chaotic behaviour in low-order models of planetary and
stellar dynamos'',Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid. Dyn.
Bushby, P.J., Proctor, M.R.E. & Weiss, N.O. ``The influence of
stratification upon small-scale convectively-driven dynamos'', in
IAU Symp. No. 271: Astrophysical Dynamos: from Stars to Galaxies,
ed. N.H. Brummell, A.S. Brun, M.S. Miesch & Y. Ponty, pp. 197--204,
Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Weiss, N.O. ``Solar and Stellar Dynamos'', in IAU Symp. No. 271:
Astrophysical Dynamos: from Stars to Galaxies, ed. N.H. Brummell,
A.S. Brun, M.S. Miesch & Y. Ponty, pp. 247--260,
Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Balbus, S.A., Latter, H. & Weiss, N. ``Global model of differential
rotation in the Sun'', Mon. Not. Roy. Astr. Soc. 420,,
Barker, A.J., Silvers, L.J., Proctor, M.R.E. & Weiss, N.O.
``Magnetic buoyancy instabilities in the presence of magnetic flux
pumping at the base of the solar convection zone'',
Mon. Not. Roy. Astr. Soc. 424, 115-127, 2012.
Weiss, N.O. ``Reflections on magnetoconvection'',
Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid. Dyn. 106, 353--371, 2012.
Bushby, P.J., Favier, B., Proctor, M.R.E. & Weiss, N.O.
``Convectively-driven dynamo action in the quiet Sun'',
Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid. Dyn. 106, 508--523, 2012.
Weiss, N.O. & Proctor, M.R.E. ``Magnetoconvection'', Cambridge University
Arlt, R. & Weiss, N. ``Solar activity in the past and the chaotic behaviour of
the dynamo'', Space Sci. Rev. 186, 525--533, 2014.
Weiss, N.O. & Tobias, S.M. ``Supermodulation of the Sun's magnetic activity: the effects of
symmetry changes'' Mon. Not. Roy. Astr. Soc. 456, 2654-2661, 2016.
Other interests and links
Isaac Newton Trust: Trustee (1999-2005, 2006-2012), Chairman (2007-2012)
Member of National Gallery Scientific Consultative Group (1996-2012)
Visiting Professor, University of Leeds (2000-2007)
President of the Royal Astronomical Society (2000-2002), Gold Medallist
President of the Fellowship, Clare College (2002-2005)
Co-Organiser of Newton Institute Programme on MHD of Stellar
Interiors (Sept.-Dec. 2004)
Formerly Chairman of the School of Physical Sciences (1993-1998) and on
the General Board of the Faculties and the Council's Finance
Astrophysics/Nonlinear Dynamics Group in DAMTP
Nigel Weiss, October
University of Cambridge, CMS,
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA