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The Responses of High Latitude Clouds and High and Mid-Latitude Surface Pressures to the Solar Wind Sector Structure.
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  • Brian A. Tinsley,
  • Limin Zhou,
  • Liang Zhang,
  • Lin Wang
Brian A. Tinsley
University of Texas at Dallas

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Limin Zhou
Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science, Ministry of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
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Liang Zhang
Eastern Liaoning University
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Lin Wang
East China Normal University
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The opacity of clouds at Alert, Canada have been shown by measurements of their infrared irradiances to change with the day-to-day solar wind input to the global atmospheric electric circuit, as well as to the inputs of global thunderstorms and magnetic storms. These cloud changes appear to be the cause of surface pressure changes in the Arctic and Antarctic that have long been observed to correlate with the solar wind sector structure. We analyze large data sets of cloud irradiances and surface pressures, and find differences in the responses to 2, 4, or more sectors per 27-day solar rotation. There are seasonal variations, with sign reversal in the summer, which we interpret as due to changing geometry of solar insolation input. The correlation coefficients that were shown to be statistically significant at near the 95% confidence level for all-year, all sector types show further increases for just winter months and for just 2-sector intervals. The phase relationship of the pressure responses compared to those of the cloud responses are consistent but not understood. There are also interannual variations, whose cause has yet to be determined. A parameterization of the potential distribution near the magnetic poles and out through the high latitude ionospheric region affected by solar wind inputs has been made, giving correlations of IR irradiance and pressure with these parameterizations stronger than with those for the IMF B alone. The effects analyzed are an indication of more extensive influences of global atmospheric electricity on cloud microphysics and cloud development.