Articles | Volume 30, issue 5
Regular paper
 | Highlight paper
08 May 2012
Regular paper | Highlight paper |  | 08 May 2012

On the role of ozone in long-term trends in the upper atmosphere-ionosphere system

J. Laštovička

Abstract. Origin of long-term trends in the thermosphere-ionosphere system has been discussed since the beginning of trend studies. The two most prioritized explanations have been those via long-term increase of atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and long-term increase of geomagnetic activity throughout the 20th century. Secular changes of the Earth's main magnetic field play an important role in trends in a limited region. Recently, Walsh and Oliver (2011) suggested that the long-term cooling of the upper thermosphere (above 200 km) may be due largely to the stratospheric ozone depletion. Here, we show that the role of ozone is very important in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere but not in the upper thermosphere. The suggestion of Walsh and Oliver (2011) is based on historical (before 1988) data from Saint-Santin radar, whereas more recent data do not support their conclusion.