Shrinking atmosphere

28 Aug 2010

Yes, the atmosphere is shrinking - as a result of low levels of solar radiation - a lack of sun spots. At www.physorg.com/print202054025.html there is a report on a paper in Geophysical Research Letters from research funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation which sponsors the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at Boulder, Colorado. It is now thought the Sun's magnetic cylce may vary much more than previously considered possible. The layer in the upper atmosphere known as the Thermosphere has shrank which may indicate space debris poses a greater hazard than otherwise. The Sun's energy output plunged between 2007 and 2009 (known as the solar minimum) coinciding with the shrinking of the atmosphere.