Report on the 2nd IAGA/ICMA Workshop on Vertical Coupling in the Atmosphere/Ionosphere System

July 12 - 15, 2004, Bath, UK

The Second International IAGA/ICMA Workshop on "Vertical Coupling in the Atmosphere/Ionosphere System" was held at the Hilton Hotel in Bath, UK on July 12-15, 2004. The meeting was attended by a total of 65 senior and young scientists from 19 countries. During the 4 days of the workshop the participants presented 60 papers, of which 9 were solicited review papers, 16 were solicited papers and 35 were contributed oral presentations.

The aim of this workshop was to address the physics behind the forcing mechanisms that originate in the lower atmosphere which play an important role on the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The meeting was designed so that research experts from both the upper neutral atmosphere and ionosphere communities could come together in order to present their work and assess/debate ongoing issues relating to the theoretical, modelling and observational aspects of all kind of processes which transfer energy and momentum from the lower atmosphere to the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.

The programme focussed on various aspects and topics of neutral dynamics as well as ionospheric electrodynamics and plasma physics. These included:

  1. Gravity wave, tidal and planetary wave coupling in the middle atmosphere and impacts on the mesosphere and lower thermosphere;
  2. Planetary wave climatology and nonlinear effects in the propagation of planetary waves in the upper atmosphere;
  3. Effects on the dynamical and chemical-compositional structure of the MLT region by vertically propagating atmospheric waves as well as solar effect impositions;
  4. The role of thunderstorm-related electrical processes coupling the atmosphere and ionosphere;
  5. Coupling of neutral dynamics and electrodynamics in the midlatitude thermosphere-ionosphere system;
  6. Lower thermosphere forcing effects in the equatorial ionosphere as well and E and F region electrodynamical coupling over equatorial latitudes;
  7. Ionospheric topics on the forcing of the ionosphere by waves from below, mid-latitude E region plasma instabilities and irregularities, and F region links with the lower ionosphere.

This workshop brought together a mix of scientists doing mostly independent research on the fields of the MLT neutral atmosphere and the ionosphere, that is, on two collocated "spheres" of the near earth environment which remain closely coupled and in continuous interaction. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for these research communities to interact in a complementary manner in reviewing and debating the progress made to date in the field of the upper atmosphere-ionosphere and to come up with suggestions and ideas for further research on the vertical coupling of the atmosphere-ionosphere system.

Financial contributions to the workshop were made by the following organisations: the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA), the International Commission on the Middle Atmosphere (ICMA), the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), and the US Airforce European Office for Aerospace and Development (EOARD). In particular, IAGA contributed with a grant of 1000 USD. This grant was used to support the travel expenses of the solicited speaker Dr. Eugeny Merzlyakov from the Institute for Experimental Meteorology, Obninsk, Russia.

The presentations at this Workshop will be published in a special issue of JASTP. The team of Guest Editors includes Bela Fejer, Rolando Garcia, Robert Vincent, Jan Lastovicka and Dora Pancheva.

Dr. Dora Pancheva
Chair of the Programme Committee.