Vol 19, No 1

Repercussions of solar high energy protons on ozone layer during super storms

Asheesh Bhargawa, Mohd Yakub, Ashok Kumar Singh


Abstract We are very aware of the importance of the ozone layer, without which life on the Earth would not have evolved in the way it has. Solar storms carry energetic protons into the Earth’s upper atmosphere, where they boost production of nitrogen oxides which are known as ozone killers and which ultimately increase ultraviolet (UV) radiations. In the present study, we estimate the effects of solar energetic protons during super storms (Dst index < −300 nT) over the total ozone column for the last 32 yr. We select a total of seven super storm events that occurred during solar cycles 22–24 (for the last 32 yr) having Dst index < −300 nT. To that end, we apply superposed epoch analysis (SEA) to verify the impact of storm events on the quantitative variation of total ozone column and on UV radiations during super storm events. After completing the empirical analysis, we conclude that the ozone column gets depleted significantly (22±6.8%) as proton density increases during super storm events and this decrement in the ozone level is further responsible for a substantial increase (26±11.2%) in peak UV radiation intensities.


Keywords Sun: particle emission — Sun: solar terrestrial relations — Sun: astroparticle physics — Sun: Physical Data and Processes

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