Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Interannual variations of MLS carbon monoxide induced by solar cycle

Lee, J. N., D. L. Wu, and A. Ruzmaikin (2013), Interannual variations of MLS carbon monoxide induced by solar cycle, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 102, 99-104.

More than eight years (2004–2012) of carbon monoxide (CO) measurements from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) are analyzed. The mesospheric CO, largely produced by the carbon dioxide (CO2) photolysis in the lower thermosphere, is sensitive to the solar irradiance variability. The long-term variation of observed mesospheric MLS CO concentrations at high latitudes is likely driven by the solarcycle modulated UV forcing. Despite of different CO abundances in the southern and northern hemispheric winter, the solar-cycle dependence appears to be similar. This solar signal is further carried down to the lower altitudes by the dynamical descent in the winter polar vortex. Aura MLS CO is compared with the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) total solar irradiance (TSI) and also with the spectral irradiance in the far ultraviolet (FUV) region from the SORCE Solar-Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE). Significant positive correlation (up to 0.6) is found between CO and FUV/TSI in a large part of the upper atmosphere. The distribution of this positive correlation in the mesosphere is consistent with the expectation of CO changes induced by the solar irradiance variations.

Research Program: 
Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)