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Space and planetary sciences
Response of the mesosphere-thermosphere-ionosphere system to global change – CAWSES-II contribution
Laštovička J, Beig G, Marsh D R
Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Long-term trends, Climatic change
Trends in the Earth's atmosphere. The atmospheric layers are defined by the temperature profile. The ionospheric layers are defined by the electron density profile (midnight at equator). Arrows indicate the direction of change. Red - warming, blue - cooling, green - no change of temperature, black - changes in electron density (horizontal) and heights of ionospheric layers (vertical).
Long-term trends in the mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere are areas of research of increasing importance both because they are sensitive indicators of climatic change and because they affect satellite-based technologies which are increasingly important to modern life. Their study was an important part of CAWSES-II project, as they were a topic of Task Group 2 (TG-2) ‘How Will Geospace Respond to Changing Climate’. Three individual projects of TG-2 were focused on important problems in trend investigations. Significant progress was reached in several areas such as understanding and quantifying the role of stratospheric ozone changes in trends in the upper atmosphere, reaching reasonable agreement between observed and simulated trends in mesospheric temperatures and polar mesospheric clouds, or understanding of why the thermospheric density trends are much stronger under solar cycle minimum conditions. The TG-2 progress that is reviewed in this paper together with some results reached outside CAWSES-II so as to have the full context of progress in trends in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.