Unexpected connections between the stratosphere and ionosphere

L. P. Goncharenko, J. L. Chau, H. L. Liu, A. J. Coster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The coupling of the ionosphere to processes from below remains an elusive and difficult problem, as rapidly changing external drivers from above mask variations related to lower atmospheric sources. Here we use superposition of unique circumstances, current deep solar minimum and a record-breaking stratospheric warming event, to gain new insights into causes of ionospheric perturbations. We show large (50-150%) persistent variations in the low-latitude ionosphere (200-1000 km) that occur several days after a sudden warming event in the high-latitude winter stratosphere (∼30 km). We rule out solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity as explanations of the observed variation. Using a general circulation model, we interpret these observations in terms of large changes in atmospheric tides from their nonlinear interaction with planetary waves that are strengthened during sudden warmings. We anticipate that further understanding of the coupling processes with planetary waves, accentuated during the stratospheric sudden warming events, has the potential of enabling the forecast of low-latitude ionospheric weather up to several days in advance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL10101
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2010

Fingerprint

stratosphere
ionospheres
ionosphere
warming
planetary wave
planetary waves
tropical regions
ionospherics
heating
atmospheric tides
stratospheric warming
atmospheric tide
irradiance
weather
forecasting
polar regions
winter
general circulation model
masks
perturbation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Goncharenko, L. P., Chau, J. L., Liu, H. L., & Coster, A. J. (2010). Unexpected connections between the stratosphere and ionosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(10), [L10101]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GL043125

Unexpected connections between the stratosphere and ionosphere. / Goncharenko, L. P.; Chau, J. L.; Liu, H. L.; Coster, A. J.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37, No. 10, L10101, 01.05.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Goncharenko, LP, Chau, JL, Liu, HL & Coster, AJ 2010, 'Unexpected connections between the stratosphere and ionosphere', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 37, no. 10, L10101. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GL043125
Goncharenko, L. P. ; Chau, J. L. ; Liu, H. L. ; Coster, A. J. / Unexpected connections between the stratosphere and ionosphere. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2010 ; Vol. 37, No. 10.
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