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The response of mesospheric NO to geomagnetic forcing in 2002-2012 as seen by SCIAMACHY

Sinnhuber, M.; Friederich, F.; Bender, S.; Burrows, J.P.

Abstract (englisch): Daily NO number density, retrieved from measurements of the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) from 2002 to 2012 for polar summer in the mesosphere, is used to investigate the response of NO to geomagnetic activity, as expressed by the auroral electrojet (AE) index. Applying the superposed epoch analysis, we observe a clear response of NO to strong geomagnetic forcing at geomagnetic latitudes 55–75 ∘ N/S and altitudes above 66 km. The 27 day solar rotation cycle is observed, indicating that some of the observed geomagnetic events are related to solar coronal holes. We find a linear relationship between anomalies of AE and NO at geomagnetic latitudes 55–70 ∘ N/S and 70–74 km altitude. A clear auroral oval-like structure is observed on days of strong geomagnetic forcing in both hemispheres, with small longitudinal inhomogeneities, which might be related to the South Atlantic Anomaly or the magnetic local time. The NO lifetime and production rate per AE anomaly has been derived from a least squares fit to the observations. Comparisons of results from a simple model using this empirical NO production and a lifetime varying from 1.2 days in summer to 10 days in winter to SCIAMACHY observations show good agreement. In particular, the strength and interannual variability of the wintertime maximum is well captured. This suggests that direct production of NO in the upper mesosphere above 72 km contributes substantially to the so-called energetic particle precipitation indirect effect.

Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung - Atmosphärische Spurenstoffe und Fernerkundung (IMK-ASF)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator DOI: 10.1002/2015JA022284
ISSN: 0148-0227, 2156-2202, 2169-9380, 2169-9402
KITopen ID: 1000055123
HGF-Programm 12.04.05; LK 01
Erschienen in Journal of geophysical research / Space physics
Band 121
Heft 4
Seiten 3603-3620
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