Articles | Volume 31, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 31, 291–303, 2013
Ann. Geophys., 31, 291–303, 2013

Regular paper 19 Feb 2013

Regular paper | 19 Feb 2013

Long-term trends in the ionospheric F2 region with different solar activity indices

J. Mielich and J. Bremer J. Mielich and J. Bremer
  • Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Rostock University, Schloss-Str. 6, 18225 Kühlungsborn, Germany

Abstract. A new comprehensive data collection by Damboldt and Suessmann (2012a) with monthly foF2 and M(3000)F2 median values is an excellent basis for the derivation of long-term trends in the ionospheric F2 region. Ionospheric trends have been derived only for stations with data series of at least 22 years (124 stations with foF2 data and 113 stations with M(3000)F2 data) using a twofold regression analysis depending on solar and geomagnetic activity.

Three main results have been derived:

Firstly, it could be shown that the solar 10.7 cm radio flux F10.7 is a better index for the description of the solar activity than the relative solar sunspot number R as well as the solar EUV proxy E10.7.

Secondly, the global mean foF2 and hmF2 trends derived for the interval between 1948 and 2006 are in surprisingly good agreement with model calculations of an increasing atmospheric greenhouse effect (Rishbeth and Roble, 1992).

Thirdly, during the years 2007 until 2009, the hmF2 values and to a smaller amount the foF2 values strongly decrease. The reason for this effect is a reduction of the thermospheric density and ionization due to a markedly reduced solar EUV irradiation and extremely small geomagnetic activity during the solar cycle 23/24 minimum.