TO NASA SCIENCE THEMES
The overall goal of NASA’s SEC program
is to understand the coupling between the heliosphere and
the Earth’s atmosphere. AIM deals with “How does
solar variability affect life and society” which is
a key element of the “Living with a Star” initiative.
The key to this quest is an improved understanding of the
upper atmospheric regions that shield the planet and its biosphere
from harmful solar radiation and particles. The study of anthropogenic
influences on the upper atmosphere is an important aspect.
PMCs are of special interest as they are sensitive to both
global change and solar/terrestrial influences. Also, a recent
National Research Council (NRC) book entitled The Atmospheric
Sciences Entering the 21st Century notes the “need to
closely monitor the occurrence and latitudinal extent of PMCs
as a marker of global change".
Roadmap Quests and Science Themes