Iono- and Atmospheric Physics

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Energetic electron loss and its impacts on the atmosphere

Last updated:
7 February 2018

Organizers: Robyn Millan, Pekka Verronen and Alexa Halford

This special issue presents recent advances in our understanding of energetic (~20 keV - 10 MeV) electron loss in the magnetosphere and the impacts of energetic precipitation on the atmosphere. 

The combination of BARREL multi-point balloon measurements with measurements from equatorial spacecraft (e.g. Van Allen Probes, LANL, THEMIS, MMS, GOES), LEO spacecraft (e.g. POES, CSSWE, FIREBIRD, AC-6), and ground-based instruments (e.g. riometers, AARDDVARK, EISCAT) is providing a unique opportunity to study the processes that cause precipitation, and to quantify the relative importance of precipitation versus magnetopause loss. Additionally, there is evidence that energetic precipitation may have significant impacts on the atmosphere through the production of odd hydrogen (HOx) and odd nitrogen (NOx), which can affect ozone chemistry, and lead to modification of atmospheric dynamics in the polar regions. Observational studies that use historical or recent data sets as well as theoretical studies of electron loss and its impacts are included.

This is a joint special section between JGR-Space Physics and JGR-Atmospheres. and manuscripts may be submitted to either journal:

JGR-Space Physics GEMS submission site

JGR-Atmospheres GEMS submission site

Long‐term Changes and Trends in the Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and Ionosphere, JGR‐Atmospheres/Space Physics, 2014

Last updated:
7 February 2018
This joint special section of JGR-Space Physics and JGR-Atmospheres presents recent findings and insights on how the middle and upper atmosphere are evolving naturally and due to man-made climate change. Many of the papers are based on presentations and discussions at the 8th Workshop on Long-Term Changes and Trends in the Atmosphere, which was held in Cambridge, UK, in July 2014. The workshop was sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP), the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA), the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

TIMED Contributions to Mesosphere, Lower Thermosphere, and Ionosphere Science

1 November 2006
The Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite carries a limb-scanning Fabry- Perot interferometer designed to perform remote-sensing measurements of upper atmosphere winds and temperatures globally.

Proton Precipitation Into the Atmosphere

1 January 2001
Energetic protons, precipitating into the atmosphere, interact with the ambient neutrals, leading to excitation, ionization, elastic scattering, and, for MeV protons, dissociation. In addition, a proton can capture an electron, producing an energetic H atom, which has enough energy to interact, in turn, with the ambient neutrals.

Effects of Thunderstorms and Lightning in the Upper Atmosphere

1 February 2011
D. Sentman
This Special Section of the Journal of Geophysical Research, Space Physics, includes papers presented at the AGU Chapman Conference “Effects of Thunderstorms and Lightning in the Upper Atmosphere” 10–14 May 2009 at Penn State University, as well as papers relevant to the subject of the conference recently published in JGR Space Physics. The Special Section covers topics across the full spectrum of disciplines relevant to the subject, ranging from the underlying meteorology of sprite-associated lightning, gas breakdown and discharge processes, electromagnetic effects, energetic processes, and photochemical, kinetic and transport mechanisms.

Long-term Changes and Trends in the Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and Ionosphere (TRENDS 2010)

1 October 2014
I. Cnossen, G. Beig, and J. Lastovicka
This joint special section of JGR-Space Physics and JGR-Atmospheres presents recent findings and insights on how the upper atmosphere is evolving naturally and anthropogenically. Many of the papers are based on presentations and discussions at the 6th IAGA/ICMA/CAWSES workshop on Long-Term Changes and Trends in the Atmosphere, which was held in Boulder, Colorado, in June 2010.

Long-Term Changes and Trends in the Upper Atmosphere and Ionosphere (TRENDS 2012)

27 December 2013
J. Lastovicka and G. Beig
Long-term changes in Earth's atmosphere are becoming more and more relevant to the future of our world and it is paramount that we quantify and understand changes occurring at all levels within the coupled atmospheric system. The increasing concentration of greenhouse gases, stratospheric ozone depletion, varying solar and geomagnetic activity, secular change of Earth’s magnetic field, and changing dynamics propagating up from the troposphere are some of the possible causes of long-term changes in the stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere.  The 7th international workshop on "Long-term changes and Trends in the Atmosphere" (TRENDS-2012) took place between September 11-14, 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The goals of the workshop were to review the current state of knowledge about trends in these atmospheric regions, and to discuss what research is necessary for resolving inconsistencies, reducing uncertainties, and achieving a deeper understanding of middle and upper atmospheric climate change - especially the relative influences of anthropogenic and solar effects. Papers in this collection apply to all types of observational techniques to determine the long-term changes and trends, in the stratosphere and above, that have occurred in the past and also to determine the processes behind those changes including that of troposphere as secondary focus.

Plasmasphere Refilling

1 February 1992
As the international space physics community marks the 40th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year and anticipates the rising geomagnetic activity of solar cycle 23, it is important to gauge the progress in understanding solar terrestrial disturbances and their capacity to disrupt human endeavor.