Tidal variability due to the quasi-biennial oscillation and ionospheric responses

Jack C. Wang , Chang, Loren C. & Wu, Qian


The Quasi-biennial Oscillation (QBO) is a persistent oscillation in the zonal mean zonal winds of the low latitude middle atmosphere that is driven by breaking planetary and gravity waves, with a period near two years. The atmospheric tides that dominate the dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region (MLT, between heights of 70 to 120 km) are excited in the troposphere and stratosphere, and propagate through QBO-modulated zonal mean zonal wind fields. This allows the MLT tidal response to also be modulated by the QBO, with implications for ionospheric/thermospheric variability. Meanwhile, interannual oscillation in solar radiation could directly drive the variations in the ionosphere with simultaneous period through the photoionization. Many studies also revealed the connection of the solar activities and QBO signal in ionospheric features, e.g. total electron content (TEC).

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