Outcry of British scientists
Closure of the UK ionosondes, major threat to solar-terrestrial research programs
Volker Grassmann, DF5AI
April 6, 2006
Almost every day, public media reports about the signatures of the global climate change and how it affects our life, today and in the future. However, we do not yet understand the details of the geophysical processes which also includes the interaction between the lower, middle and upper atmosphere and the impact of solar-terrestrial phenomena. You and I and most of the citizens in our countries therefore expect intensified scientific efforts in this fields supported by governmental authorities. Not quite right! NASA's earth science programs getting cut (see also the below article on solar cycle predictions), NOAA plans to terminate solar wind data, Germany withdraws from the upper atmosphere EISCAT observatory in high latitudes, etc. etc. - the latest outcry originates from British scientists who are facing a brutal impact on their solar-terrestrial science programs (STP). Being a member of the German section of U.R.S.I., I received the following information from Prof. Paul S. Cannon (G8EAJ):
To realize the damage in scientific continuity, readers are requested to refer to the above hotlinks which explain the scientific programs in detail. See also the information given by Dr. Phil Wilkinson, director of the Australian IPS Radio and Space Services. This cut of funding also affects amateur radio, of course, which benefits from ionospheric data in various aspects (which is also documented by many articles available on this web site). In consequence, British fellow hams are highly alerted, see, e.g. the web site of the Southgate Amateur Radio Club, the international QRZ directory and also the Foren des Arbeitskreises Meteore (AKM) e.V. (refer to the thread "Streichungen für britische Ionosphärenforschung" in the "Polarlichtforum"). The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee has also addressed this issue on their annual meeting in April this year. To understand PPARC's position in this initiative, the reader is requested to refer to the PPARC's web site reporting news from the council (meeting on March 2, 2006).