Could global warming affect space weather? : case studies of intense ionospheric plasma turbulence associated with natural heat sources
Case studies of intense ionospheric plasma turbulence associated with natural heat sources
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
MetadataShow full item record
We report on observations of a series of highly-structured ionospheric plasma turbulence over Arecibo on the nights of 22/23 and 23/24 July, 2006. Incoherent scatter measurements by Arecibo radar, airglow measurements using MIT PSFC's all-sky imaging system (ASIS), together with TEC measurements from GPS satellite network provide well-integrated diagnostics of turbulent plasma conditions. Two kinds of turbulent structures were seen as slanted stripes and filaments/quasi-periodic echoes on the range-time-intensity (RTI) plots of radar measurements. Detailed analyses of radar, airglow, and GPS data allow us to determine the drift velocity/direction, the orientation/geometry, and the scale lengths of these plasma turbulence structures. They are large plasma sheets with tens of kilometer scale lengths, moving in the form of traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) southward within the meridional plane or westward in zonal plane at tens of meter per second. The signatures of observed TIDs indicate that they were triggered by internal gravity waves that had reached the altitudes of ionospheric F region. All possible sources producing gravity waves have been examined. We rule out solar/geomagnetic conditions which were quiet, and the atmospheric weather anomalies which were absent, during the period of time for our experiments. It is found that the heat wave fronts, which occurred in US, were plausible sources of free energy generating intense gravity waves and triggering large plasma turbulence over Arecibo. In other words, anomalous heat sources can be responsible for the occurrence of intense space plasma turbulence all over the world. The reported research suggests that global warming may affect the space weather conditions significantly. Further GPS data analysis is outlined as our future efforts to verify some predictions based on the current research outcomes.(cont.) Simulation experiments can be conducted at Gakona, Alaska using the powerful high-frequency active auroral research programs (HAARP) heating facility, to generate gravity waves for the controlled study of concerned intriguing phenomenon.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2007.Includes bibliographical references (p. 97-100).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering.