Understanding the Impact of Solar Radiation on Earth’s Ozone Layer through the 27-Day Solar Cycle

Project Description

Solar radiation is crucial because it controls everything on Earth, including our climate and atmosphere. The sun, a massive body of plasma, rotates every 27 days, causing its radiation output to vary. These fluctuations are believed to affect the Earth’s ozone layer, which protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. By studying these effects, particularly through the shorter 27-day solar cycle, we can improve our understanding of atmospheric dynamics and refine climate models.

Main Objectives are:
– To explore how changes in solar radiation over a 27-day period relate to changes in ozone levels at different heights in the atmosphere.
– To determine if the 27-day solar cycle can be identified in the changes of ozone levels.
– To assess how significant and strong the relationship between solar radiation changes and ozone levels is.

Data Sources:
– Ozone Data: We will use daily measurements of ozone from the Aura MLS satellite instrument.
– Solar Flux Data: We will analyze daily measurements of ultraviolet solar radiation collected by the SORCE satellite.

– We will use statistical tools to look for patterns that repeat every 27 days in the ozone data, suggesting they are linked to the solar cycle.
– We might also use a type of machine learning to find any unusual patterns in the ozone data that might indicate extreme solar activity or other anomalies.
new insights into how solar variations affect our atmosphere and will help improve models used for predicting climate changes.

This project will help us better understand how the sun’s 27-day cycle impacts the ozone layer and broader atmospheric conditions. By studying the connection between solar radiation and ozone variability, we can gain valuable insights into the processes that govern our atmosphere and how they might change in the future.

Key References:
a. Dhomse, S. S., et al.; (2022). A single-peak-structured solar cycle signal in stratospheric ozone based on Microwave Limb Sounder observations and model simulations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 903–916, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-903-2022.
b. Fioletov, V. E. et al., (2009). Estimating the 27‐day and 11‐year solar cycle variations in tropical upper stratospheric ozone, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D02302, https://doi.org/10.1029/2008JD010499.

Supervisor & Contact

Sandip  Dhomse , s.s.dhomse@leeds.ac.uk

How to Apply

  1. Complete the online REP application form, one for each project of interest, including a copy of your CV.
  2. Complete the EDI form (only one is needed, you do not need to submit more than one if you apply for multiple projects).  Although this is optional, if places are over-subscribed, preference will be given to under-represented groups.