The Blanket Effect is intended for others to learn about weather modification and its related subjects in an easy to understand way. Started in 2005, this blog is a work in progress as the technology advances

December 22, 2006

Ionespheric Heating Consequences

SuperDARN observations of medium-scale gravity wave pairs generated by Joule heating in the auroral zone (abstract)

It is known that Joule heating caused by currents associated with enhanced electric fields in the auroral ionosphere can generate gravity waves.

Some modeling studies found that
each short-lived (∼10 min) electric field enhancement in the ionosphere leads to the generation of a single gravity wave pulse.

Observational evidence of such single wave pulses has been reported in the ground-scatter echoes seen by the SuperDARN HF radars.

In this paper, we present new SuperDARN observations which show that, under certain conditions, each electric field enhancement can generate a pair of gravity waves.

Sudden Warming and Gravity Waves during Northern Hemisphere Winter

During strong atmospheric perturbation events, such as sudden stratospheric warmings, planetary wave breaking and mean flow change have large impacts on gravity wave activities.

On one hand, as a consequence of large-scale wave breaking, catastrophic generation of small-scale perturbations would cause enhancement in gravity wave activities.

On the other hand, background flow changes during the sudden warming events could introduce different filtering to existing gravity waves propagating upward from the lower atmosphere.

The interactions among planetary waves, mean flow, and gravity waves are of great interest to understand how the atmospheric system responds to a strong perturbation as a whole.

The following example shows two stratosperic warming (mesospheric cooling) events during UARS day 80-130 (Nov.30, 1991-Jan.19,1992). Apparently, planetary wave 1 enhancement is the precursor to these warming events.

Enhanced gravity wave activities follow immediately the planetary wave event in the first case while occur at about same time in the second event.

The time lags among gravity wave activities at different altitudes are evident, showing a later enhancement at a lower altitude.

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