Cosmic ray flux at the earth in a variable heliosphere

18 August 2009

In recent years the variability of the cosmic ray flux has become one of the main issues not only for the interpretation of the abundances of cosmogenic isotopes in cosmochronic archives like, e.g., ice cores, but also for its potential impact on the terrestrial climate. It has been re-emphasized that the cosmic ray flux is not only varying due to the solar activity-induced changes of the solar wind but also in response to the changing state of the interstellar medium surrounding the heliosphere. We demonstrate the significance of these external boundary condition changes along the galactic orbit of the Sun for the flux as well as spectra of cosmic rays. Such interstellar–terrestrial relations are a major topic of the International Heliophysical Year 2007