Association Lectures to be presented at the IAGA Scientific Assembly in Toulouse ib 18-29 July, 2005

Association Lecture 1: Tuesday, 19 July at 0830

Jean-Louis Le Mouel: A New Era for Geomagnetism

Satellites dedicated to the measurements of the magnetic field of the Earth have been flying again for five years, and there is little doubt that, from now on, the geomagnetic field will be continuously monitored from space. The array of ground magnetic observatories, which will remain a necessary complement to magnetic satellites, has been reviewed and implemented, even though much remains to be done. Data from land and marine expeditions have been collected, providing an invaluable description of the field for the last centuries:

  • Archeomagnetic measurements have seen a period of increased activity, giving more reliable and more global information on the field over the last few thousands years.
  • Paleomagneticians pursue their gigantic task of deciphering the behaviour of the field over geological times, putting special emphasis on intensity measurements.

The extension of the accessible domain of time and space scales will lead to qualitative changes in the description of the geomagnetic field; for example, one will be shortly able to model the present day field in its whole and in quasi-real time, without using the awkward separations, averaging, and approximations which were necessary in the past. Progress in understanding the various sources of the field will follow, in particular the dynamo mechanism of the main field, already so vigorously investigated, but also some features of the magnetospheric systems of currents. And a more comprehensive knowledge of the solar-terrestrial relationship is to be expected.

Association Lecture 2: Thursday, 21 July at 0830

Daniel Baker: IGY + 50 and eGY

During the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), member countries established geophysical observatories around the world. These nations were pursuing major IGY objectives - to collect geophysical data as widely as possible and to provide free access to these data for all scientists around the globe. By the beginning of the 21st century, we had achieved an unparalled ability to acquire data and attained a good understanding of traditional regions - the troposphere, the magnetosphere, and other such "spheres". Much of the new and important science now is coming from the study of the boundaries between these regions and of coupling between geophysical domains. Thus, we need to make data available in a readily accessible form and much greater quantities to a wider range of scientists than ever before. Several major international initiatives - such as the International Polar Year, the International Heliophysical Year, and the International Year of the Planet Earth - have been proposed to commemorate and to follow on from the original IGY. This lecture will review the goals, and present status of these programs. As an important part of IGY+50, an International Association of Geomagnetic and Aeronomy (IAGA) task group has recognized that a key achievement of the IGY was the establishment of a worldwide system of data centers and physical observatories. It has been agreed that for the 50th anniversary of IGY, scientific societies should promote the establishment of a system of Virtual Observatories. This can provide a forward impetus to geophysics in this century similar to that provided by the IGY fifty years ago. The proposed electronic Geophysical Year (eGY) concept embraces all available and upcoming geophysical data (e.g., atmospheric, geomagnetic, gravity, ionospheric, magnetospheric, etc.) and would organize them into a series of virtual geophysical observatories "deployed" in cyberspace. This concept implies free access to all available data through the Internet and World Wide Web, taking advantage of existing networking hardware and software technologies (e.g., Internet, XML, Semantic Web, etc.). The eGY can be smoothly incorporated into the various planned "International Year" initiatives and will provide an international focus for a resolve to address the issues of data release, data discovery, and data preservation.. The eGY initiative is pragmatic and affordable and has been embraced by all IUGG Associations.

Association Lecture 3: Monday 25 July at 0830

David Loper: Earth's Magnetic Field and Life

This talk will focus on the role of the geomagnetic field in the evolution of life on Earth. The key connection is water, which is essential for life. Water exists on Earth because the magnetic field has shielded it from erosion by the solar wind. The magnetic field is sustained by a dynamo in the core that requires rapid cooling of core and mantle. This cooling is provided by plate tectonics, which needs water to lubricate the subduction zones. This closed loop (the field preserves water which permits plate tectonics, thus providing the cooling necessary to generate the field) will be illuminated by comparing Earth with the state of Mars and Venus. As time permits, other aspects of the relation between the magnetic field and life will be discussed, such as the purported relation between field reversals and extinctions, biomagnetism and the development of civilization.

Association Lecture 4: Wednesday 27 July at 0830

Sunanda Basu: Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System: SCOSTEP's New Interdisciplinary Research Program (CAWSES)

Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System (CAWSES), the new, program for 2004 - 2008 developed by ICSU's interdisciplinary body the Scientific Committee for Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP), aims to bring together the world's scientists in a cooperative effort to study the entire interactive Sun-Earth system. SCOSTEP recognizes the very impressive past, present, and planned space missions; ground-based observations; and theory, modeling, and data analysis efforts aimed at understanding aspects of this coupled system. CAWSES, seeks to mobilize the international solar-terrestrial science community to fully utilize such data archives, and future data streams; to produce improvements in space weather forecasting, design of space- and Earth-based technological systems, and understanding the role of solar-terrestrial influences on Global Change. The CAWSES Science Steering Group has organized the program around five themes: Solar Influence on Climate, Space Weather: Science and Applications, Atmospheric Coupling Processes, Space Climatology, and Capacity Building and Education. CAWSES seeks to partner with the International Living with a Star Program comprising space organizations engaged in missions to explore the Sun-Earth coupled system. The aim of this talk is to provide information to the international science and applications community on the CAWSES goals, objectives and implementation plans and to solicit inputs for future updates of the science plan. Some results from the first Space Weather and Atmospheric Coupling Campaigns held during March-April, 2004 will also be discussed.

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