University of Oulu

Dawkins, E. C. M., Stober, G., Janches, D., Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D., Lieberman, R. S., Jacobi, C., et al. (2023). Solar cycle and long-term trends in the observed peak of the meteor altitude distributions by meteor radars. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL101953.

Solar cycle and long-term trends in the observed peak of the meteor altitude distributions by meteor radars

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Author: Dawkins, E. C. M.1,2; Stober, G.3; Janches, D.1;
Organizations: 1ITM Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
2Department of Physics, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, USA
3Microwave Physics, Institute of Applied Physics, University Bern, Bern, Switzerland
4Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
5British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
6University of Bath, Bath, UK
7National Institute for Space Research (INPE), São José dos Campos, Brazil
8China-Brazil Joint Laboratory for Space Weather, NSSC/INPE, São José dos Campos, Brazil
9Department of Physics, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campina Grande, Brazil
10Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, TAS, Australia
11Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden
12Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
13National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
14The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Tokyo, Japan
15Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
16Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, S. Korea
17Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-08


The mesosphere/lower thermosphere (MLT, 80–100 km) region is an important boundary between Earth’s atmosphere below and space above and may act as a sensitive indicator for anthropogenic climate change. Existing observational and modeling studies have shown the middle atmosphere and the MLT is cooling and contracting because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, trend analyses are highly sensitive to the time periods covered, their length, and the measurement type and methodology used. We present for the first time the linear and 11-year solar cycle responses in the meteor ablation altitude distributions observed by 12 meteor radars at different locations. Decreasing altitudes were seen at all latitudes (linear trends varying from −10.97 to −817.95 m dec⁻¹), and a positive correlation with solar activity was seen for most locations. The divergence of responses at high latitudes indicates an important and complex interplay between atmospheric changes and dynamics at varying time scales.

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Series: Geophysical research letters
ISSN: 0094-8276
ISSN-E: 1944-8007
ISSN-L: 0094-8276
Volume: 50
Issue: 2
Article number: e2022GL101953
DOI: 10.1029/2022GL101953
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: ED, DJ, JDCS, and RSL are supported through the NASA ISFM programs for Heliophysics. GS is a member of the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research. J-HK and CL were supported by a Korea Polar Research Institute Grant (KOPRI PE22020) from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. CJ acknowledges support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Grant JA836/43-1. ML acknowledges support from UK Science and Technology Facilities Council Grant ST/W00089X/1. TdF operation is supported by NESC assessment TI-17-01204. ROT and KEP radars were funded through UK Natural Environment Research Council Grants NE/R001391 and NE/R001235/1. CPa, SMa and CAR meteor radars were funded through São Paulo State Research Support Foundation and Brazilian National Research Conseil. DAV operation was supported by Australian Antarctic Science projects 2668, 4025, and 4445. Operation of KIR is provided by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) Esrange Space Center.
Copyright information: © 2022 Commonwealth of Australia and The Authors. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.