280 Anomalously low geomagnetic energy inputs during 2008 solar minimum

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Yue Deng, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX; and Y. Huang, S. C. Solomon, L. Qian, D. J. Knipp, and D. Weimer

The record-low thermospheric density during the last solar minimum has been reported and it has been mainly explained as the consequence of the anomalously low solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiance. In this study, we examined the variation of the energy budget to the Earth's upper atmosphere during last solar cycle from both solar EUV irradiance and geomagnetic energy, including Joule heating and particle precipitation. The global integrated solar EUV power was calculated from the EUV flux model for aeronomic calculations (EUVAC) using the MgII index and the annal average value in 2008 was low by 33 GW compared with that in 1996. The decrease of the global integrated geomagnetic energy from 1996 to 2008 was close to 29 GW including 13 GW for Joule heating from Weimer [2005b] and 16 GW for particle precipitation from NOAA Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) measurements. Although the estimate of the solar EUV power and geomagnetic energy vary from model to model, the reduction of the geomagnetic energy was comparable to the solar EUV power. The Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamic General Circulation Model (TIEGCM) simulations indicate that the solar irradiance and geomagnetic energy variations account for 3/4 and 1/4 of the total neutral density decrease in 2008, respectively.
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