Is Space Weather impact different over Africa, and if so why?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Patricia H Doherty, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, United States, Endawoke Yizengaw, Boston Cllg-Scientific Rsrch, Chestnut Hill, MA, United States and Timothy J Fuller-Rowell, Univ of Colorado-CIRES, Boulder, CO, United States
With the increasing reliance on technology, the impact of space weather will certainly increase unless suitable protective measures are taken. It is well recognized that many space weather impacts arise from structures and dynamics of the equatorial ionosphere which is one of the most complex region that hosts numerous instabilities and irregularities or plasma bubbles. These irregularities cause information loss in satellite communications, as well as degradation in positioning and navigation signals that are used in aviation and maritime industries. An important question with considerable practical importance is whether ionospheric space weather impacts are the same over the American, African, and Asian longitude sectors, or are they different, and if so why? Satellite observations show ionospheric irregularities in the African continent is more prolific event and occurs more frequently in Africa compared to other longitudinal sectors. However, satellite observations are limited to a certain local time; and thus the needs of operational ground-based instruments, in the region like Africa, are essential to understand the physics behind the longitudinal variability of space weather impacts and improve our global forecasting capabilities which are a major objective of the space science community. Using the recently deployed ground-based multi-instruments (augmented with data from space-based instruments), we will present the temporal and seasonal variability of the space weather impacts over the African continent and provide potential evidences about the possible causes that makes the space weather impact in Africa is unique compared to other longitudinal sectors.