SWG6: Space Climate: Radiation, Particles, & Responses


The HAO space climate working group studies the climatology of the geospace environment and the drivers and responses of the coupled Sun-Earth system. Its goal is to enable a better understanding and attribution of solar variability, its impact on the upper atmosphere and space climate, and its interaction with anthropogenic change from monthly to decadal and longer time-scales.


    • Solar Modeling:
  • Solar Irradiance Modeling: Compute spectral solar irradiance from MHD solar models (VIS, IR). Construct a Grand Minimum irradiance scenario from physics-based model. Develop a more realistic treatment of the chromosphere/corona in the MURaM code (see SWG1, SWG2)
  • Implement data assimilation in the MHD-SWT tachocline model capable to predict flux emergence and solar variability on time-scales varying from months to years (see SWG5)
    • Solar and Heliospheric Observations:
  • Use historical and present synoptic data to determine periodicities and long-term variations in the solar atmosphere and solar wind, including patterns of activity (e.g., active longitudes) and possible solar cycle precursors (e.g. bright points)
  • Solar Minimum Campaign: Continue legacy work on comparison of solar minima. Engage with the scientific community to organize observational campaigns for the coming solar minimum.
  • Analyze IRIS MgII high spectral/spatial resolution data to identify sources of variability in the MgII index and improve empirical irradiance models (in collaboration with LASP)
  • Revive PSPT to bring back photospheric/chrmospheric observations at MLSO aimed to understand solar irradiance (in collaboration with LASP)
    • Geospace, Atmospheric, and Climate Modeling:
  • Enhance and expand atmospheric and geospace modeling capabilities for response to solar irradiance, geomagnetic disturbances, solar energetic particles, and atmospheric variability (see SWG4)
  • Construct improved estimates of solar spectral irradiance to guide development of upper atmosphere and climate models.
  • Investigate the whole-atmosphere and ionosphere response to solar variability and anthropogenic change (see SWG4)
    • Geospace/Upper/Lower Atmosphere Observations:
  • Quantify changes due to solar variability to estimate anthropogenic effects throughout the atmosphere, ionosphere, and geospace using space- and ground-based data
  • Investigate NOx dependence on particle and radiative forcing, and its solar cycle variability.

Research Highlight

The NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model–eXtended (WACCM-X).

Sample template image
Model calculations of the zonal mean annual mean changes in temperature under low solar activity conditions, as a function of latitude and pressure, for the a 30-year simulation period from 1973 to 2003. Negative contours, ranging from -9 to -1 K, with a 1 K interval, are shown in white; positive contours, at +1 and +2 K, are shown in red. The zero-change line is shown in black.


Project Scientist II
Project Scientist III
Senior Scientist Emeritus
Senior Research Associate
ASP Postdoctoral Fellow
Associate Scientist IV
Senior Research Associate
Senior Scientist
Associate Scientist III
Senior Scientist and NCAR Deputy Director
Project Scientist III
Senior Scientist and Section Head
Software Engineer/Programmer IV
Project Scientist IV
Project Scientist IV