University of Oulu

Edvartsen, J., Maliniemi, V., Nesse Tyssøy, H., Asikainen, T., & Hatch, S. (2022). The Mansurov effect: Statistical significance and the role of autocorrelation. Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 12, 11.

The Mansurov effect : statistical significance and the role of autocorrelation

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Author: Edvartsen, Jone1; Maliniemi, Ville1; Tyssøy, Hilde Nesse1;
Organizations: 1Birkeland Center for Space Science, Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, 5007 Bergen, Norway
2Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: EDP Sciences, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-27


The Mansurov effect is related to the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and its ability to modulate the global electric circuit, which is further hypothesized to impact the polar troposphere through cloud generation processes. We investigate the connection between IMF By-component and polar surface pressure by using daily ERA5 reanalysis for geopotential height since 1980. Previous studies produce a 27-day cyclic response during solar cycle 23 which appears to be significant according to conventional statistical tests. However, we show here that when statistical tests appropriate for strongly autocorrelated variables are applied, there is a fairly high probability of obtaining the cyclic response and associated correlation merely by chance. Our results also show that data from three other solar cycles produce similar cyclic responses as during solar cycle 23, but with seemingly random offset in respect to the timing of the signal. By generating random normally distributed noise with different levels of temporal autocorrelation and using the real IMF By-time series as forcing, we show that the methods applied to support the Mansurov hypothesis up to now are highly susceptible to random chance as cyclic patterns always arise as artifacts of the methods. The potential non-stationary behavior of the Mansurov effect makes it difficult to achieve solid statistical significance on decadal time scales. We suggest more research on, e.g., seasonal dependence of the Mansurov effect to understand better potential IMF effects in the atmosphere.

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Series: Journal of space weather and space climate
ISSN: 2115-7251
ISSN-E: 2115-7251
ISSN-L: 2115-7251
Volume: 12
Article number: 11
DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2022008
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: The research was funded by the Norwegian Research Council under contracts 223252/F50 (BCSS) and 300724 (EPIC).
Dataset Reference: All data used in this study are openly available. All codes and data required to reproduce the results of this study can be downloaded from Zenodo (
Copyright information: © J. Edvartsen et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.