Understanding space weather to shield society: A global road map for 2015-2025 commissioned by COSPAR and ILWS

Carolus Schrjver, Kirsti Kauristie, Alan D. Aylward, Clezio M. Denardini, Sarah E. Gibson, Alexi Glover, Nat Gopalswamy, Manuel Grande, Mike Hapgood, Daniel Heynderickx, Norbert Jakowski, Vladimir V. Kalegaev, Giovanni Lapenta, J. A. Linker, Siqing Lui, Cristina H. Mandrini, Ian R. Mann, Tsutomu Nagatsuma, Dibyendu Nandy, Takahiro ObaraPaul O'Brien, Terrance Onsager, Hermann J. Opgenoorth, Michael T. Terkildsen, Cesar E. Valladares, Nicole Vilmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Citations (SciVal)
299 Downloads (Pure)


There is a growing appreciation that the environmental conditions that we call space weather impact the technological infrastructure that powers the coupled economies around the world. With that comes the need to better shield society
against space weather by improving forecasts, environmental specifications, and infrastructure design. We recognize that much progress has been made and continues to be made with a powerful suite of research observatories on the
ground and in space, forming the basis of a Sun-Earth system observatory. But the domain of space weather is vast extending from deep within the Sun to far outside the planetary orbits and the physics complex including couplings
between various types of physical processes that link scales and domains from the microscopic to large parts of the solar system. Consequently, advanced understanding of space weather requires a coordinated international approach
to effectively provide awareness of the processes within the Sun-Earth system through observation-driven models. This roadmap prioritizes the scientific focus areas and research infrastructure that are needed to significantly advance our
understanding of space weather of all intensities and of its implications for society. Advancement of the existing system observatory through the addition of small to moderate state-of-the-art capabilities designed to fill observational gaps will enable significant advances. Such a strategy requires urgent action: key instrumentation needs to be sustained, and action needs to be taken before core capabilities are lost in the aging ensemble. We recommend advances through
priority focus (1) on observation-based modeling throughout the Sun-Earth system, (2) on forecasts more than 12 hrs ahead of the magnetic structure of incoming coronal mass ejections, (3) on understanding the geospace response to variable solar-wind stresses that lead to intense geomagnetically-induced currents and ionospheric and radiation storms, and (4) on developing a comprehensive specification of space climate, including the characterization of extreme space storms to guide resilient and robust engineering of technological infrastructures. The roadmap clusters its implementation recommendations by formulating three action pathways, and outlines needed instrumentation and research programs and infrastructure for each of these. An executive summary provides an overview of all recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2745-2807
Number of pages63
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number12
Early online date03 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2015


  • Space weather
  • COSPAR/ILWS road map panel


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding space weather to shield society: A global road map for 2015-2025 commissioned by COSPAR and ILWS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this