CEDAR email: Chapter on climate change in the upper atmosphere

Ingrid Cnossen icnossen at ucar.edu
Wed Mar 14 11:06:04 MDT 2012

Dear colleagues,

I wrote a book chapter entitled "Climate change in the upper atmosphere" 
which may be of interest to some of you. The full chapter can be 
downloaded here free of charge:


The abstract is given below.



Climate Change in the Upper Atmosphere
Ingrid Cnossen, High Altitude Observatory, National Center for
Atmospheric Research, USA

In the upper atmosphere, a long-term cooling trend has been observed,
along with a corresponding reduction in density at fixed height (the
result of thermal contraction) and changes in the ionosphere. An
increase in the concentration of CO2, a coolant in the upper atmosphere, 
is responsible for some of the observed change. However, model estimates 
of the effects of historical changes in CO2 concentration tend to be 
much smaller than the observed trends in the thermosphere (~100-500 km 
altitude). Other factors that may influence the climate of the upper 
atmosphere must therefore be considered and quantified as well in order 
to explain the observed changes. The chapter reviews our current 
knowledge of the effects of changes in composition (CO2, ozone, methane, 
and water vapor), the secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field, 
long-term changes in solar and geomagnetic activity, and changes in 
tides propagating upwards from the lower atmosphere.

Dr. Ingrid Cnossen
Post-doctoral fellow
High Altitude Observatory
National Center for Atmospheric Research
3080 Center Green Drive
Boulder, CO 80301
tel.: 1-303-497-1505
e-mail: icnossen at ucar.edu

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