Development and Applications of Data Assimilation for Whole Atmosphere Models
Though widely used in the lower atmosphere for both operational and scientific purposes, data assimilation techniques have yet to be extensively adopted in the mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere. This is despite the inherent benefits obtained by combining observations with a background model using data assimilation. In order to improve representation of variability in the mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere, as well as provide initial conditions for studying predictability of the near-Earth space weather, the data assimilation capability was developed for the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) and WACCM with thermosphere-ionosphere eXtension (WACCMX) using the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) ensemble Kalman filter. A brief overview of the development of WACCM+DART and WACCMX+DART will be provided, including how the application of data assimilation techniques differs between the lower and upper atmospheres. Drawing on several examples, it will be shown that using data assimilation can improve the representation of the chemical, dynamical, and electrodynamical variability of the middle and upper atmospheres. The use of WACCMX+DART for providing initial conditions for forecasting the space environment will also be presented. Despite the significant progress made in the development of whole atmosphere data assimilation, there remain many outstanding challenges. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the key challenges facing current whole atmosphere data assimilation systems and an outlook for the future of whole atmosphere data assimilation.
Dr. Nick Pedatella is a distinguished aerospace engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado (CU) in 2011 and a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University, both in Aerospace Engineering. His exceptional academic journey includes receiving the Outstanding Dissertation Award for his doctoral thesis. Currently, Dr. Pedatella holds the position of Scientist II at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) and has been recognized with two UCAR Outstanding Accomplishment awards for his remarkable scientific and technical contributions. He also serves as a valuable member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Solar and Space Physics.
Dr. Pedatella's research focuses on the Earth's middle and upper atmosphere, with a primary emphasis on understanding the impact of lower atmospheric waves on the mesosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere. He excels in the development and application of data assimilation techniques to study atmospheric variability and predictability. Dr. Pedatella's work extends to investigating the fundamental mechanisms by which tides and planetary waves influence the ionosphere, as well as the ionosphere's response to geomagnetic variability and its interaction with lower atmosphere forcing. His substantial body of work includes 93 publications with over 2,800 citations, reflecting his significant scholarly impact and an H-index of 34, attesting to the importance of his contributions to the field. Dr. Pedatella's dedication, expertise, and influential research make him an invaluable asset and a deserving candidate for promotion.