The impact of century-scale changes in the core magnetic field on external magnetic field contributions

The Earth’s internal magnetic field controls to a degree the strength, geographic positioning, and structure of currents flowing in the ionosphere and magnetosphere, which produce their own (external) magnetic fields. The secular variation of the Earth’s internal magnetic field can therefore lead to long-term changes in the externally produced magnetic field as well. Here we will examine this more closely. First, we obtain scaling relations to describe how the strength of magnetic perturbations associated with various different current systems in the ionosphere and magnetosphere depends on the internal magnetic field intensity. Second, we discuss how changes in the orientation of a simple dipolar magnetic field will affect the current systems. Third, we use model simulations to study how actual changes in the Earth’s internal magnetic field between 1908 and 2008 have affected some of the relevant current systems. The influence of the internal magnetic field on low- to mid-latitude currents in the ionosphere is relatively well understood, while the effects on high-latitude current systems and currents in the magnetosphere still pose considerable challenges.


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Authors: Cnossen, Ingrid ORCIDORCID record for Ingrid Cnossen

On this site: Ingrid Cnossen
1 March, 2017
Space Science Reviews / 206
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