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Solar Cycle Response and Long-Term Trends in the Mesospheric Metal LayersThe meteoric metal layers (Na, Fe, and K) which form as a result of the ablation of incoming meteors act as unique tracers for chemical and dynamical processes that occur within the upper mesosphere lower thermosphere region. In this work, we examine whether these metal layers are sensitive Fe indicators of decadal long-term changes within the upper atmosphere. Output from a whole-atmosphere climate model is used to assess the response of the Na, K, and Fe layers across a 50 year period (1955-2005). At short timescales, the K layer has previously been shown to exhibit a very different seasonal behavior compared to the other metals. Here we show that this unusual behavior is also exhibited at longer time scales (both the 11 year solar cycle and 50 year periods), where K displays a much more pronounced response to atmospheric temperature changes than either Na or Fe. The contrasting solar cycle behavior of the K and Na layers predicted by the model is confirmed using satellite and lidar observations for the period 2004-2013.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Dawkins, E. C. M. (Catholic Univ. of America Washington, DC, United States)
Plane, J. M. C. (Leeds Univ. United Kingdom)
Chipperfield, M. (Leeds Univ. United Kingdom)
Feng, W. (Leeds Univ. United Kingdom)
Marsh, D. R. (National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Hoffner, J. (Leibniz Inst. of Atmospheric Physics Kuehlungsborn, Germany)
Janches, D. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
April 6, 2017
Publication Date
July 27, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume: 121
Issue: 7
ISSN: 2169-9380
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
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