Anthropogenic Space Weather

  • T. I. Gombosi
  • D. N. Baker
  • A. Balogh
  • P. J. Erickson
  • J. D. Huba
  • L. J. Lanzerotti

DOI: 10.1007/s11214-017-0357-5

Cite this article as:
Gombosi, T.I., Baker, D.N., Balogh, A. et al. Space Sci Rev (2017). doi:10.1007/s11214-017-0357-5
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. The Scientific Foundation of Space Weather


Anthropogenic effects on the space environment started in the late 19th century and reached their peak in the 1960s when high-altitude nuclear explosions were carried out by the USA and the Soviet Union. These explosions created artificial radiation belts near Earth that resulted in major damages to several satellites. Another, unexpected impact of the high-altitude nuclear tests was the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can have devastating effects over a large geographic area (as large as the continental United States). Other anthropogenic impacts on the space environment include chemical release experiments, high-frequency wave heating of the ionosphere and the interaction of VLF waves with the radiation belts. This paper reviews the fundamental physical process behind these phenomena and discusses the observations of their impacts.


High-altitude nuclear explosions Artificial radiation belts Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) Damage to satellites Space Debris Chemical releases HF heating VLF waves and radiation belts 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Directorate for Geosciences
  • AGS- 1322543
  • AGS-1242204
  • Internal support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    National Science Foundation

      Copyright information

      © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

      Authors and Affiliations

      • T. I. Gombosi
        • 1
      • D. N. Baker
        • 2
      • A. Balogh
        • 3
      • P. J. Erickson
        • 4
      • J. D. Huba
        • 5
      • L. J. Lanzerotti
        • 6
        • 7
      1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
      2. 2.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
      3. 3.Imperial CollegeLondonUK
      4. 4.MIT Haystack ObservatoryWestfordUSA
      5. 5.Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUSA
      6. 6.New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA
      7. 7.Alcatel Lucent Bell LaboratoriesMurray HillUSA

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