Our studies of neutron monitor observatory data with different cut‐off rigidities during solar cycle 22 have made it possible to investigate the hysteresis properties of the relationship between the variations in solar activity and galactic cosmic ray intensity. Hysteresis arises due to the delay of interplanetary processes (responsible for cosmic ray modulation) with respect to the initiating solar processes, which correspond to some effective solar wind and shock wave propagation velocity. It allows determination of the effective dimension of the modulation region as a function of the effective energy of galactic cosmic rays. We extend previous investigations made in the framework of the convection‐diffusion model by taking into account drifts that change sign in periods of solar magnetic field reversal. From comparisons with experimental data on long‐term cosmic ray variation in cycle 22, we determine the role of convection‐diffusion and drifts in global modulation, and the effective dimension of the modulation region in dependence of particle rigidities.

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