Middle atmosphere, solar variability, and climate interactions

We investigate the solar-terrestrial coupling due to solar wind, solar coronal mass ejections, and solar UV/EUV forcing via the middle atmosphere. The middle atmosphere comprises the altitude region between 10 km and 120 km and is a transition region between the lower atmosphere and space. As such, it is strongly influenced by external (solar) forcings as well as by forcings from below (tropospheric weather systems), and solar signals transferred through the middle atmosphere are part of the natural forcing of the climate system. We apply our knowledge from terrestrial solar forcing to study the atmospheres of Earth-like (rocky) exoplanets in orbits around very active stars.

Aurora seen from the ISS, @ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO ESA, Space_Aurora.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Solar variability and the atmosphere
Pale blue dot NASA/JPL - Caltech / Space Science Team
Stellar activity and exoplanetary atmospheres:


The group

Our field of research in a nutshell; People; Projects; Publications.


Space_AuroraESA, Space_Aurora.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Online-seminar on energetic electron precipitation

Want to learn more about the impact of electron precipitation from the radiation belts? Watch recent online-seminar from Miriam Sinnhuber:

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Daily mean NOx from MIPAS at 68 km, 14/12/2009Copernicus, CC BY 4.0
Exceptional electron precipitation observed by balloon

Exceptionally electron precipitation was observed by a research balloon on December 14, 2009, in magnetic mid-latitudes. Trace gas observations confirm that precipitation in midlatitudes probably took place, despite low geomagnetic activity. 

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Mesospheric NO observation compared to model resultsAGU, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
New results of Heppa III intercomparison experiment published

The High Energetic Particle Precipitation into the  Atmosphere (HEPPA) intercomparison experiment is an international initiative to constrain and improve the representation of (solar) particle precipitation in state-of-the art chemistry-climate models. It is ongoing since 2008. Newest results of round III published recently focus on NO formation during a geomagnetic storm in April 2010.

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