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On the solar cycle variation of the winter anomaly

AuthorBurns, A.; Wang, W.; Qian, L.; Solomon, S.; Zhang, Y.; Paxton, L.; Yue, X.;
KeywordsAnomaly; Cycle; Ionosphere

Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate, Ionosonde, and Global Ultraviolet Imager data have been used to investigate the solar cycle changes in the winter anomaly (the winter anomaly is defined as the enhancement of the F2 peak electron density in the winter hemisphere over that in the summer hemisphere) in the last solar cycle. There is no winter anomaly in solar minimum, and an enhancement of about 50\% in winter over summer ones on the same day of the year at solar maximum. This solar cycle variation in the winter anomaly is primarily due to greater winter to summer differences of [O]/[N2] in solar maximum than in solar minimum, with a secondary contribution from the effects of temperature on the recombination coefficient between O+ and the molecular neutral gas. The greater winter increases in electron density in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere appear to be related to the greater annual variation of [O]/[N2] in the north than in the south.

Year of Publication2014
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages4938-4949
Date Published06/2014