Polar mesosphere summer radar echoes: Observations and current theories
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2010
Copyright 1993 by the American Geophysical Union.
Reviews of Geophysics
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 243–265, August 1993
How to Cite
1993), Polar mesosphere summer radar echoes: Observations and current theories, Rev. Geophys., 31(3), 243–265, doi:10.1029/93RG01535., and (
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2010
The remarkably strong radar echoes from the summer polar mesosphere have been an enigma to atmospheric and radar scientists since their discovery more than a decade ago. Since then, more sophisticated radar experiments and in situ rocket measurements have shed some light on the underlying physics and chemistry, and theories have been formulated to explain the generation of the intense radar backscatter and the remarkable physical conditions associated with it. First, we review the key observations and examine the proposed theories. We then evaluate the progress that has been made in understanding this phenomenon and explore its connection to global change, to the newly recognized material referred to as a dusty plasma, and to the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere. Finally, we end with suggestions for future research.