Report | From atmosphere to space weather – More exchange for better findings

New findings in geosciences are often gained when different disciplines combine their results. The atmosphere and its transition zone to space are fields where a lot of different disciplines are doing research, from remote sensing over magnetosphere physics to meteorology. Here in particular an exchange between disciplines may lead to a better understanding of the processes behind the phenomena within the atmosphere and phenomena of space weather.

The workshop “From atmosphere to space weather“, organized recently at the GFZ within the Helmholtz research topic “Geosystem: The Changing Earth“, aimed at this exchange. The participants discussed questions like: does the scattering of particles from space, investigated by the discipline of magnetosphere physics, have an impact on electrical conductivity of the outer atmosphere, investigated by the discipline of physics of the magnetosphere? About 60 scientists from various GFZ sections as well as representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the Space Situation Centre of the German Armed Forces, discussed the often linked processes determining the upper atmosphere and space.

It was emphasized that the major task for the scientific community is to raise public interest in space weather. “Space weather” is defined as phenomena within the transition zone between atmosphere and space that are mainly determined by cosmic rays and solar winds and their interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field. The scientists aim at implementing a national plan of action and organising outreach activities on this topic. A special focus is on risk assessment and minimisation of critical phenomena of space weather for infrastructures modern societies are depending on: power supply systems, navigation infrastructure, air and shipping traffic. On a scientific level special emphasis during the workshop lay on planning future collaborations that enable a better understanding of the systems of the atmosphere, ionosphere, plasmasphere, and the magnetosphere.

30.06.2017, Ariane Kujau

Workshop-agenda and talks are available here