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swr03 Earth's Magnetosphere and Radiation Belts

Conveners: Hayley Allison (GfZ Postdam) and Jonathan Eastwood (Imperial College London)


The Earth’s magnetosphere and radiation belts are key to understanding a wide variety of space weather phenomena and impacts. The coupling of the magnetosphere to the solar wind, and its dependence on solar wind conditions - most specifically the orientation of the solar wind magnetic field - fundamentally controls the way in which energy and plasma enters the magnetosphere and is subsequently stored. The rapid, explosive release of stored energy in magnetospheric substorms, and the associated dynamics of the magnetotail, drive auroral activity and the injection of plasma into the inner magnetosphere. A complex interplay of plasma processes, waves, and non-thermal particle distributions causes considerable spatio-temporal variation in the radiation belts. Within this general framework, understanding the causes and consequences of substorms, and the way in which geomagnetic storm conditions develop, persist, and decline remains a central challenge to predicting and mitigating the risks of space weather to infrastructure and human activity both in space and on the ground.

This session will focus on the roles that the magnetosphere and the radiation belts play in generating diverse space weather phenomena. We solicit contributed papers on all topics related to magnetospheric and radiation belt physics that shed further light on our understanding of space weather more generally. To stimulate dialogue across the full spectrum of scientific activity, we encourage contributions from all areas, whether this is related to blue-sky scientific understanding or more applied modelling and forecasting. Method-related papers showing how to use new techniques (such as ML/AI) or novel datasets (existing or planned) are also very welcome, as are contributions from end-users whose input is highly desirable to guide the community in developing further understanding and new capabilities.