Three main research focuses are (1) characterizing long-term trends with observations from in-situ and ground-based remote sensing instruments by summarizing and reviewing existing ionospheric and thermospheric results; (2) understanding the various driving mechanisms and identifying those that can consistently account for key observations; (3) evaluating the societal impacts of climate changes in the upper atmosphere.  The research focus area (2) is the center of our effort. We plan to examine drivers from below and above, including (i) greenhouse gas effects with more accurate CO2 observational data and state-of-the-art models, (ii) potential lower atmosphere wave activity effects originating from global climate change, (iii) impact of secular changes of solar and magnetic activity, and (iv) effects of secular Earth magnetic field changes.

The outcome from this coordinated research effort includes publications and papers that provide comprehensive reviews of the long-term change pattern in the upper atmosphere, and highlight significantly improved understanding of the relative roles of major contributing factors to the observed trends. In particular, we anticipate new insights and will strive to reasonable scientific consensus regarding some important observational puzzles leading to new discoveries.

The team members will meet for 2 one-week meetings, the May 2017 meeting at ISSI and the May 2018 meeting at ISSI-BJ.