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MST3: Vertical Coupling through planetary atmospheres and ionospheres

Session Organiser: 

Andrew J. Kavanagh (British Antarctic Survey)


Observations of the Earth's atmosphere have made it clear that to fully understand this system it is essential to understand how the different layered regions (charged and neutral) couple with one another. This holds true for other planetary bodies, though the mechanisms that dominate may vary. Coupling occurs via electrodynamic, chemical and dynamical processes, and at Earth the ways in which these mechanisms are influenced by the Sun and by changes in the lower atmosphere are still poorly understood. The complexity of the interactions of the neutral and ionized portions of our atmosphere make this a particularly challenging area. Differences in composition, magnetic structure and planetary motion bring further challenges to studies of other planetary bodies. This session invites contributions on subjects such as gravity and planetary wave coupling in the middle atmosphere; dynamical and chemical structure of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere; solar influences on the middle and lower atmosphere, including particle precipitation; electrodynamical coupling between the ionosphere and thermosphere; and the role of thunderstorm-related processes and relativistic atmospheric electrodynamics. Comparitive studies between planetary atmosphere are welcome.