Context. The evolution of the photospheric magnetic field can be simulated with surface flux transport (SFT) simulations, which allow for the study of the evolution of the entire field, including polar fields, solely using observations of the active regions. However, because only one side of the Sun is visible at a time, active regions that emerge and decay on the far-side are not observed and not included in the simulations. As a result, some flux is missed. Aims. We construct additional active regions and apply them to the far-side of the Sun in an SFT simulation to assess the possible effects and the magnitude of error that the missing far-side flux causes. We estimate how taking the missing far-side flux into account affects long-term SFT simulations. Methods. We identified active regions from synoptic maps of the photospheric magnetic field between 1975 and 2019. We divided them into solar cycle wings and determined their lifetimes. Using the properties of observed active regions with sufficiently short lifetimes, we constructed additional active regions and inserted them into an SFT simulation. Results. We find that adding active regions with short lifetimes to the far-side of the Sun results in significantly stronger polar fields in minimum times and slightly delayed polarity reversals. These results partly remedy the earlier results, which show overly weak polar fields and polarity reversals that are slightly too early when far-side emergence is not taken into account. The far-side active regions do not significantly affect poleward flux surges, which are mostly caused by larger long-living active regions. The far-side emergence leads to a weak continuous flow of flux, which affects polar fields over long periods of time.

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