Space climatology is concerned with longer-term changes in the space environment that are driven almost entirely by changes in solar output. Data from ground-based magnetic observatories, including those of the USGS Geomagnetism Program, are an excellent proxy measure of near-Earth geospace conditions, with continuous records going back decades and, sometimes, even centuries. These data can be used to study quiet-time geomagnetic tides, and decades-to-centuries-long secular change in geomagnetic disturbance and magnetic-storm occurrence that is driven by solar-terrestrial interaction and which is modulated by the ~11 year sunspot cycle. Results from space-climatology research enhance our fundamental understanding of the Sun, the Earth and the surrounding space environment; they allow us to make long-term, probabilistic forecasts of space weather and magnetic storms; and they provide context in studies of global climate change.
Examples of space-climatology work published by USGS scientists include:
- Love, J. J. & Rigler, E. J., 2014. The magnetic tides of Honolulu, Geophys. J. Int., 197, 1335-1353, doi:10.1093/gji/ggu090.
- Love, J. J., Rigler, E. J. & Gibson, S. E., 2012. Geomagnetic detection of the sectorial solar magnetic field and the historical peculiarity of minimum 23-24, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L04102, doi:10.1029/2012GL050702.
- Love, J. J. & Rigler, E. J., 2012. Sunspot random walk and 22-year variation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10103, doi:10.1029/2012GL051818.
- Love, J. J., Mursula, K., Tsai, V. C. & Perkins, D. M., 2011. Are secular correlations between sunspots, geomagnetic activity, and global temperature significant?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L21703, doi:10.1029/2011GL049380.
- Love, J. J., 2011. Secular trends in storm-level geomagnetic activity, Ann. Geophys., 29, 251-262.
- Love, J. J. & Gannon, J. L., 2009. Revised Dst and the epicycles of magnetic disturbance: 1958-2007, Ann. Geophys., 27, 3101-3131.
Primary USGS contact: Jeffrey J. Love