Infrared Radiation in the Thermosphere Near the End of Solar Cycle 24

Martin G Mlynczak, Linda A Hunt, B Thomas Marshall, James M Russell
Geophysical Research Letters 2018 November 16, 45 (21): 11581-11587
Observations of thermospheric infrared radiative cooling by carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and nitric oxide (NO) from 2002 to 2018 are presented. The time span covers more than 6,000 days including most of solar cycle (SC) 23 and the entirety of SC 24 to date. Maxima of infrared cooling rate profiles (nW/m3 ) are smaller during SC 24 than SC 23, indicating a cooler thermosphere. Rates of global infrared power (W) from CO2 are now at levels observed during the deep solar minimum of 2009. Rates of NO power are still larger than those observed during 2009 and are being maintained at an elevated level by geomagnetic activity. During SC 24 to date, the thermosphere has radiated 70% of the energy of the mean of the past five cycles and would require an additional 1,690 days at current infrared radiation rates to reach that amount.

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