The thermosphere is an extremely dynamic system. A relatively steady amount of energy is input on the dayside. In the high-latitude regions, the heating is most often significantly less than the heating on the dayside. Both of these sources of energy can change dramatically in a very short amount of time, though. For example, flares can alter the dayside thermospheric temperature and density. This alteration can increase the day-to-night neutral winds at all levels, carrying the changes onto the nightside. When the energy at high-latitudes increases dramatically, the normal day-to-night wind pattern can be dramatically altered, affecting both the composition of the thermosphere and the structure of the ionosphere. While the general characteristics of the wind patterns, in some regions of the thermosphere, are somewhat understood, it can be demonstrated that there are significant holes in our understanding of the thermospheric winds. Indeed, it is even difficult to quantify our present understanding due to the lack of wind measurements to compare global models to. This talk will attempt to describe our present state of understanding of the steady, disturbed and dynamic thermospheric winds, with both modeling and data, and suggest possible solutions to the lack of measurements.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2011
- 3319 ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES / General circulation;
- 3369 ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES / Thermospheric dynamics