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Rapid indirect solar responses observed in the lower atmosphere

Harrison, G. ORCID: and Lockwood, M. ORCID: (2020) Rapid indirect solar responses observed in the lower atmosphere. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 476 (2241). 20200164. ISSN 1364-5021

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2020.0164


Establishing clear evidence of solar-induced lower atmosphere effects is hampered by the small 11-year solar cycle responses, typically swamped by meteorological variability. Strong 27-day cyclic changes are exploited here instead. During the 2007/8 minimum in solar activity, regular 27-day lighthouse-like sweeps of energetic particles crossed the heliosphere and Earth, followed by a burst of solar ultraviolet radiation. Averaging the atmospheric responses at UK sites reveals immediate cooling in the troposphere after the peak energetic particle flux, followed by warming in the stratosphere. Regionally, this is accompanied by zonal wind changes, and temperature changes beneath cloud at the same time. Of two possible rapid distinct routes of solar influence - photochemical (through ozone) and atmospheric electrical (through low level clouds) – the ozone route does not provide a phase-locked response but the electrical route is supported by observed phase-locked thickening of low level clouds. These findings have potential value to weather forecasting.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:92787
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing


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