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A global network of scientists is proposed by an international team of scientists to monitor major threats to our environment

A global network of scientists is proposed by an international team of scientists to monitor major threats to our environment

International team of scientists proposes a global networkInternational Meridian Circle Programto monitor major threats on our
International team of scientists proposes a global networkInternational Meridian Circle Programto monitor major threats on our
The imprints of the Sun and Earth system’s major disturbances on Earth’s environment can be identified by their imprints on the Ionosphere and Middle/Higher Atmosphere: space weather; terrestrial and solar magnetic fields long-term variations; greenhouse gases emissions; global atmospheric electric circuit transients; seismic activity; atmospheric waves. Credit: Science China Press

The Earth’s ecosystems are under threat from a wide range of hazards that could affect space systems, ground infrastructures, and human activities. These include solar activity, earthquakes and atmospheric and climatic disruptions, changes to the geomagnetic field and fluctuations in the global electric circuit. These hazards leave distinctive characteristic imprints on a critical layer in geospace: The Earth’s ionosphere (IMUA), middle and upper atmosphere (IMMU).


Complex electrodynamic interactions between the geomagnetic field and the neutral and plasma components in our atmosphere are strong coupled within this layer. They permanently couple the IMUA and the regions of space above and below them. Interplanetary space disturbances and solar activity can cause space weather events that disrupt the Earth’s magnetosphere. Space disturbances propagating below are caused by atmospheric waves, electrodynamic coupling, electromagnetic radiation and earthquakes. Finally, the IMUA is affected by transient changes in the global atmosphere electric circuit and secular changes to the geomagnetic fields.

In an article published by Science China Earth SciencesAn international team of scientists has proposed the deployment of a global network instrument monitoring the IMUA using a variety of techniques to monitor, minimize, and possibly predict these hazards. This is based on the conclusions of the International Space Science Institute-Beijing Forum held in Beijing in September 2019. They found that the best geometry for the deployment this global observation system is a pair of great quadrature circles. The 120E-60W great Meridian circle will provide the optimal coverage of the dominant geomagnetic and geographic latitude variations, as well as earthquake activity along the circum-pacific Fire Belt. Complementary deployment along 30E-150W meridians can capture both longitude variations caused by land-ocean contrasts as well as the areas of maximum thunderstorm activity for Central Africa.

They begin by using the Chinese Meridian Circle (CMP network) as a model to show how the instruments will be combined and deployed along the 120E-60W Great Circle that runs across China, Australia, the Americas. The ambitious international project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Phase I of the International Meridian Circle Project is aimed at deploying this network. This project will combine a variety of data from different types of instruments (radio optical and geophysical), to create a global dynamic image that includes key parameters of IMUA. Advanced Artificial Intelligence tools can be used to detect geospace disturbances signatures in this image.

  • International team of scientists proposes a global networkInternational Meridian Circle Programto monitor major threats on our
    The quadrature of two Great Meridian Circles, a primary 120E60W great circle running over east Asia and west Australia, and a secondary Great Circle (30E150W) extending over central Europe. Hawaii, Polynesia, Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific, (dashed vertical bar), provides near optimal coverage for a simultaneous scientific study of the five major hazards affecting geospace. Credit: Science China Press
  • International team of scientists proposes a global networkInternational Meridian Circle Programto monitor major threats on our
    (a) Chinese Meridian Project will provide coverage at a large scale across China. The combination of low-cost arrays of instrument instruments and facility-class tools will allow for monitoring of disturbances in the polar region. (b) The world-wide network IMCP instruments along two optimal great circles, the primary 120E60W great meridian circular and the secondary 30E150W meridiancircle. Credit: Science China Press

Visualizing the propagation pathway of electromagnetic waves from ground to space


More information:
William Liu et. al. Scientific challenges and instrumentation in the International Meridian Circle Program. Science China Earth Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s11430-021-9841-8

Provided by
Science China Press

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International team of scientists proposes global network to monitor major threats to our environment (2021, Dec 27).
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