A New Space Weather Metric

Posted: October 27, 2018 by oldbrew in solar system dynamics, weather

Hard to see a daily view there, but the multi-decadal view is worth a look.

The Next Grand Minimum

This is an interesting post at Spaceweather.com.

The daily Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) is now on Spaceweather.com. TCI is a relatively new space weather metric that tells us how the top of Earth’s atmosphere (or “thermosphere”) is responding to solar activity. During Solar Maximum, the top of our atmosphere heats up and expands. Right now the opposite is happening. Solar Minimum conditions are in effect, and this is causing the upper atmosphere to cool off


TCI was invented by Martin Mlynczak of the Langley Research Center along with other NASA and university colleagues. For the past 17 years they have been using the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite to monitor the wattage of infrared emissions from the top of the atmosphere. Recently, they realized that those measurements could be used to summarize the state of the thermosphere in a single daily index, the TCI, expressed in watts (W). Moreover…

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  1. ren says:

    Cramps in the upper atmosphere, which result from changes in solar activity, they are the source of the waves in the stratosphere and mesosphere. These waves are particularly visible over the polar circle in winter, with the decrease of the UV radiation.
    Let’s see 2009 (period of extremely low solar activity).

  2. oldbrew says:

    Record Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere Puzzles Scientists
    By SPACE.com Staff | July 15, 2010

    “This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” said John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab
    . . .
    The collapse occurred during a period of relative solar inactivity called a solar minimum from 2008 to 2009. These minimums are known to cool and contract the thermosphere, however, the recent collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

    “Something is going on that we do not understand,” Emmert said.
    . . .
    “Even when we take CO2 into account using our best understanding of how it operates as a coolant, we cannot fully explain the thermosphere’s collapse.”

    – – –
    Will there be something similar during the current solar minimum?

    When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. When solar activity is low, the opposite occurs. – Space.com

    Solar EUV radiation changes by a factor of ten over the course of a typical solar cycle. – SWPC/NOAA

    the reconstructed EUV flux reproduces the F10.7 flux with great accuracy – Leif Svalgaard

    Click to access Reconstruction-Solar-EUV-Flux.pdf

  3. A C Osborn says:

    This is a really silly article, eknows everyone knows that only the mighty CO2 molecule has any affect on our Atmosphere, it can’t possibly have anything to do with changes in the Sun’s radiation.
    /Sarc Off

  4. A C Osborn says:

    “eknows ” was “everyone knows” before a glitch.

  5. ren says:

    The different sources that contribute to the magnetic field measured by Swarm. The coupling currents or field-aligned currents flow along magnetic field lines between the magnetosphere and ionosphere.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Date: 26/10/18 Spaceweather.com

    As 2018 comes to an end, Solar Minimum appears to be just getting started. Cosmic rays could continue to increase for years to come, so stay tuned.

    So you thought Solar Minimum was boring? Think again. High-altitude balloon flights conducted by Spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus show that atmospheric radiation is intensifying from coast to coast over the USA–an ironic result of low solar activity.
    . . .
    Normally, the sun’s magnetic field and solar wind hold cosmic rays at bay – but during Solar Minimum these defenses weaken. Deep-space radiation surges into the solar system.


  7. oldbrew says:

    Temperatures will return to normal after first snow of winter
    Officials described Saturday as one of the ‘coldest October days in a decade’.

    Press Association
    Last updated: 28 October 2018

    – – –
    Took a few minutes to de-ice car windows near Manchester this morning.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Snow in Morocco…

    Monday, October 29, 2018
    Winter Arrives – Snow in the Atlas

    Temperatures have plunged along with a lot of rain – but if you are travelling into the hills, be aware that some roads are blocked by snow