The geospace response to variable inputs from the lower atmosphere: a review of the progress made by Task Group 4 of CAWSES-II

Jens Oberheide, Kazuo Shiokawa, Subramanian Gurubaran, William E. Ward, Hitoshi Fujiwara, Michael J. Kosch, Jonathan J. Makela, Hisao Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The advent of new satellite missions, ground-based instrumentation networks, and the development of whole atmosphere models over the past decade resulted in a paradigm shift in understanding the variability of geospace, that is, the region of the atmosphere between the stratosphere and several thousand kilometers above ground where atmosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions occur. It has now been realized that conditions in geospace are linked strongly to terrestrial weather and climate below, contradicting previous textbook knowledge that the space weather of Earth's near space environment is driven by energy injections at high latitudes connected with magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and solar radiation variation at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths alone. The primary mechanism through which energy and momentum are transferred from the lower atmosphere is through the generation, propagation, and dissipation of atmospheric waves over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales including electrodynamic coupling through dynamo processes and plasma bubble seeding. The main task of Task Group 4 of SCOSTEP's CAWSES-II program, 2009 to 2013, was to study the geospace response to waves generated by meteorological events, their interaction with the mean flow, and their impact on the ionosphere and their relation to competing thermospheric disturbances generated by energy inputs from above, such as auroral processes at high latitudes. This paper reviews the progress made during the CAWSES-II time period, emphasizing the role of gravity waves, planetary waves and tides, and their ionospheric impacts. Specific campaign contributions from Task Group 4 are highlighted, and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalProgress in Earth and Planetary Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Geospace
  • Gravity waves
  • Ionosphere
  • Planetary waves
  • Thermosphere
  • Tides
  • Traveling atmospheric disturbances
  • Traveling ionospheric disturbances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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