We use the principal component analysis to study geomagnetic activity at annual resolution using a network of 26 magnetic stations in 1966-2015, and an extended network of 40 stations in 1980-2015. The first principal component describes the long-term evolution of global geomagnetic activity, and has an excellent correlation with indices like the Kp/Ap index. The two networks give identical results for the first principal component. The second principal component is highly correlated with the annual percentage of high-speed streams (HSS). The extended network has a slightly higher sensitivity to HSSs. We verify the non-trivial latitudinal distribution of the second empirical orthogonal function. We find that the amplitude of the 22-year variation of geomagnetic activity has a closely similar latitudinal distribution as the second empirical orthogonal function. This verifies that the 22-year variation of geomagnetic activity is related to HSSs. The most likely cause is the Russell-McPherron mechanism.
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