Space Science Reviews

, Volume 194, Issue 1–4, pp 1–96 | Cite as

Energetic Particle Influence on the Earth’s Atmosphere

  • Irina A. MironovaEmail author
  • Karen L. Aplin
  • Frank Arnold
  • Galina A. Bazilevskaya
  • R. Giles Harrison
  • Alexei A. Krivolutsky
  • Keri A. Nicoll
  • Eugene V. Rozanov
  • Esa Turunen
  • Ilya G. Usoskin


This manuscript gives an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the effects of energetic particle precipitation (EPP) onto the whole atmosphere, from the lower thermosphere/mesosphere through the stratosphere and troposphere, to the surface. The paper summarizes the different sources and energies of particles, principally galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), solar energetic particles (SEPs) and energetic electron precipitation (EEP). All the proposed mechanisms by which EPP can affect the atmosphere are discussed, including chemical changes in the upper atmosphere and lower thermosphere, chemistry-dynamics feedbacks, the global electric circuit and cloud formation. The role of energetic particles in Earth’s atmosphere is a multi-disciplinary problem that requires expertise from a range of scientific backgrounds. To assist with this synergy, summary tables are provided, which are intended to evaluate the level of current knowledge of the effects of energetic particles on processes in the entire atmosphere.


Energetic Particle Precipitation (EPP) Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) Energetic Electron Precipitation (EEP) Ions The Earth Atmosphere: Lower Thermosphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere, Troposphere Atmospheric Processes Atmospheric Chemistry Global Electric Circuit Aerosols and Clouds Climate 

anomalous cosmic ray


cosmic ray


cosmic ray atmospheric cascade


coronal mass ejection


cosmic rays induced ionization


corotating interaction region


cloud condensation nuclei


chemistry climate model


corrected geomagnetic latitude


extensive air showers


energetic particle precipitation


energetic precipitating particles


energetic particle


energetic electron precipitation


electromagnetic ion cyclotron


extreme ultraviolet


galactic cosmic ray


ground level enhancement


global merged interaction region


global electrical circuit


heliospheric current sheet


interplanetary magnetic field


neutron monitor


noctilucent clouds


Polar stratospheric clouds


relativistic electron precipitation


solar activity


solar cosmic ray


solar energetic particle


solar proton event

(SEPs event ≡ SPE ≡ SCRs)



The development of this article resulted from work carried out by an international team of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), Bern, Switzerland, on “Study of Cosmic Ray Influence upon Atmospheric Processes” continued with an international team of ISSI on “Specification of Ionization Sources Affecting Atmospheric Processes”. Collaboration in the frame of COST Action ES1005 TOSCA is gratefully acknowledge. KAN acknowledges the support of an Early Career Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. IU acknowledges ReSoLVE Centre of Excellence (Academy of Finland Project No. 272157). ER was partially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant agreements CRSI122-130642 (FUPSOL) and CRSII2-147659 (FUPSOL II). IM acknowledges the support of RFBR grant 13-05-01063. KA, GH and KAN are grateful to Dr. F. Marcz (the Hungarian Institute of Sciences) who provided the PG data for Fig. 42. The solar flux data used in Fig. 45 were provided by NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center.

The authors thank the Editor for assistance and are grateful to anonymous Reviewers for their efforts and valuable comments that helped us to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irina A. Mironova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karen L. Aplin
    • 2
  • Frank Arnold
    • 3
  • Galina A. Bazilevskaya
    • 4
  • R. Giles Harrison
    • 5
  • Alexei A. Krivolutsky
    • 6
  • Keri A. Nicoll
    • 5
  • Eugene V. Rozanov
    • 7
  • Esa Turunen
    • 8
  • Ilya G. Usoskin
    • 9
  1. 1.Earth Physics Department, Institute and Faculty of PhysicsSt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Atmospheric Physics DivisionMax-Planck-Institute for Nuclear PhysicsHeidelbergGermany
  4. 4.Lebedev Physical InstituteRussian Academy of ScienceMoscowRussia
  5. 5.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of ReadingReading BerksUK
  6. 6.Laboratory for Atmospheric Chemistry and DynamicsCentral Aerological Observatory Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental MonitoringDolgoprudny, MoscowRussia
  7. 7.PMOD/WRC and IAC ETHZDavos DorfSwitzerland
  8. 8.Sodankylä Geophysical ObservatorySodankyläFinland
  9. 9.Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (Oulu unit) and ReSoLVE Centre of ExcellenceUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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