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Solar and lunar ionospheric electrodynamic effects during stratospheric sudden warmings

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)138-146
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Both solar and lunar atmospheric tides are believed to drive ionospheric electrodynamic effects during stratospheric sudden warmings (SSWs), but their relative importance is not well understood. In this study, long-term records (1958–2007) of the geomagnetic field are analyzed to determine the average solar (S) and lunar (L) ionospheric current systems for SSW and non-SSW periods. It is found that the L current intensity is enhanced during SSWs approximately by 75%, while the relative change in the S current intensity is much smaller (~10%). Nonetheless, absolute changes are comparable in the S and L current intensities. At the magnetic equator, semidiurnal perturbations produced by S and L currents reinforce or cancel each other depending on the phase of the moon, creating lunar-dependent recurrent onset in the total effect. These results indicate that both S and L contributions need to be considered to understand ionospheric variability during SSWs.