We discuss the implications of a heavy ion plasma in the Jovian magnetosphere. The plasma electron density varies on time scales comparable with that of radial diffusion. This plasma can enhance a super‐Alfvenic planetary wind by increasing the radial mass flux. A mechanism by which the heavy ion plasma can regenerate itself via self‐sputtering from the surface of Io followed by ionization first by solar ultra‐violet and later by electron impact is proposed. We suggest that this long term variability can modulate the faster variations of the plasma‐magnetosphere configuration of Jupiter.