On The Force Of Vertical Winds In The Upper Atmosphere - Consequences For Small Biological Particles

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Earth

For many decades vertical winds have been observed at high altitudes of the Earth's atmosphere, in the mesosphere and thermosphere layers.

These observations have been used with a simple one dimensional model to make estimates of possible altitude climbs by biologically sized particles deeper into the thermosphere, in the rare occurrence where such a particle has been propelled to these altitudes.

A particle transport mechanism is suggested from the literature on auroral arcs, indicating that an altitude of 120 km could be reached by a nanometer sized particle which is higher than the measured 77 km limit on the biosphere.

Vertical wind observations in the upper mesophere and lower thermosphere are challenging to make and so we suggest that particles could reach altitudes greater than 120 km, depending on the magnitude of the vertical wind. Applications of the larger vertical winds in the upper atmosphere to astrobiology and climate science are explored.

Arjun Berera, Daniel J. Brener
Subjects: Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (physics.ao-ph)
DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2021.0626
Cite as: arXiv:2008.02884 [physics.ao-ph] (or arXiv:2008.02884v2 [physics.ao-ph] for this version)
Submission history
From: Daniel J. Brener
[v1] Thu, 6 Aug 2020 21:36:34 UTC (138 KB)
[v2] Thu, 9 Dec 2021 14:05:14 UTC (246 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2008.02884
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