Atmospheric Science: The Second Level

The Second Level

In 1961 Allen Cole was excited because he had discovered a second Isopycnic Level at an altitude of between 80 and 90 kilometres above Churchill in Canada.

1961 - Allen E Cole

All available observations from rocket-borne instrumentation (falling spheres, grenades, pressure gages, etc.) have been used to examine the distribution of atmospheric density over Churchill, Canada.

An observed reduction in seasonal and interdiurnal variability between 80 and 90 km strongly suggests the presence of a second isopycnic level in this region.

Daily and seasonal density profiles appear to converge and cross at this altitude.

Until recently, most meteorologists considered atmospheric density to be a derived quantity, secondary in importance to temperature and pressure for describing the earth’s atmosphere.

In the space age, however, atmospheric density has become increasingly important.

Designers and engineers need information on the distribution of density to extreme altitudes to predict the performance of missiles, satellites, and aircraft.

Density is the defining parameter for model atmospheres above 80 km, because it is measured more accurately at high altitudes than either pressure or temperature.

The first systematic investigation of the combined effect of pressure and temperature on atmospheric density at various elevations above the earth’s surface (Sen, 1924) was limited by available data to the first 10 km of the earth’s atmosphere.

Examining the seasonal changes in the slopes of various equisubstantial surfaces (isopycnic surfaces) from pole to equator, Sen found that as density increased below 8 km it became less above 8 kin, and, conversely, a decrease below 8 km accompanied an increase above.

He concluded that below 8 km air density was controlled primarily by air temperature but above 8 km primarily by pressure changes.

The Second Isopycnic Level

IGY Rocket Report – Number 7 – April 1963
National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council
PDF 33.7 MB – Page 95

A good visual clue to the regime change from temperature controlled to pressure controlled that occurs at the First Isopycnic Level is the anvil feature displayed by cumulonimbus clouds.

Cumulonimbus Anvil

A good visual clue to the regime change from pressure controlled to density controlled that occurs at the Second Isopycnic Level is the layer of “tiny crystals of water ice” that occurs at an altitude of about 76 to 85 kilometres.

Noctilucent clouds over Stockholm

However, by 1976 Allen Cole was probably a very despondent scientist when the US Standard Atmosphere 1976 described the Second Isopycnic Level as a “much less pronounced” level of “minimum variability” and very effectively redacted the graphical evidence via the strategic placement of a text label.

1976 - Isopycnic Second Level

241 page PDF file of 17MB:

Evidently, the mainstream powers that be didn’t appreciate the evidence that atmospheric pressure between the First Isopycnic Level and the Second Isopycnic Level was determined by spallation, photodissociation, ionization, electron capture and recombination.

Cosmogenic nuclides (or cosmogenic isotopes) are rare isotopes created when a high-energy cosmic ray interacts with the nucleus of an in situ solar system atom, causing cosmic ray spallation.

These isotopes are produced within earth materials such as rocks or soil, in Earth’s atmosphere, and in extraterrestrial items such as meteorites.

Photodissociation, photolysis, or photodecomposition is a chemical reaction in which a chemical compound is broken down by photons.

It is defined as the interaction of one or more photons with one target molecule. Photodissociation is not limited to visible light.
Any photon with sufficient energy can affect the chemical bonds of a chemical compound.
Since a photon’s energy is inversely proportional to its wavelength, electromagnetic waves with the energy of visible light or higher, such as ultraviolet light, x-rays and gamma rays are usually involved in such reactions.

Ionization is the process by which an atom or a molecule acquires a negative or positive charge by gaining or losing electrons to form ions, often in conjunction with other chemical changes.

Ionization can result from the loss of an electron after collisions with sub atomic particles, collisions with other atoms, molecules and ions, or through the interaction with light.

Plasma recombination is a process by which positive ions of a plasma capture a free (energetic) electron and combine with electrons or negative ions to form new neutral atoms.

Dissociation in chemistry and biochemistry is a general process in which molecules (or ionic compounds such as salts, or complexes) separate or split into smaller particles such as atoms, ions or radicals, usually in a reversible manner.

Dissociation is the opposite of association and recombination.

Evidently, the mainstream wasn’t ready for the concept of a Morphophere where atmospheric particles morph into [potentially] many new chemical substances and sub-atomic particles whilst simultaneously transforming energy.

Undoubtedly, the real world Morphophere falsified their long cherished theories and carefully crafted calculations they had developed under ideal laboratory conditions.

Sadly, Atmospheric Science has been in denial ever since.

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2 Responses to Atmospheric Science: The Second Level

  1. Pingback: US Standard Atmosphere Supplements 1966 | MalagaBay

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