Localized mesospheric ozone destruction corresponding to isolated proton aurora coming from Earth’s radiation belt

Mitsunori Ozaki, Kazuo Shiokawa, Ryuho Kataoka, Martin Mlynczak, Larry Paxton, Martin Connors, Satoshi Yagitani, Shion Hashimoto, Yuichi Otsuka, Satoshi Nakahira, Ian Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Relativistic electron precipitation (REP) from the Earth’s radiation belt plays an important role in mesospheric ozone loss as a connection between space weather and the climate system. However, the rapid (tens of minutes) destruction of mesospheric ozone directly caused by REP has remained poorly understood due to the difficulty of recognizing its location and duration. Here we show a compelling rapid correspondence between localized REP and ozone destruction during a specific auroral phenomenon, the called an isolated proton aurora (IPA). The IPA from the Earth’s radiation belt becomes an important spatial and temporal proxy of REP, distinct from other auroral phenomena, and allowing visualizing micro-ozone holes. We found ozone destruction of as much as 10–60% within 1.5 h of the initiation of IPA. Electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in the oxygen ion band observed as the driver of REP likely affect through resonance with mainly ultra-relativistic (> 2 mega-electron-volts) energy electrons. The rapid REP impact demonstrates its crucial role and direct effect on regulating the atmospheric chemical balance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16300
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2022

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