First Results from the Ionospheric Extension of WACCM-X during the Deep Solar Minimum Year of 2008

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and ionosphere extension (WACCM-X) is a numerical model of the

entire atmosphere, from the surface to around 600 km in altitude. Recent enhancements to WACCM-X include a fully coupled ionosphere, including electric field effects and ion transport.

 Comparisons of hmF2 image
Comparisons of hmF2 (in units of km) between WACCM-X, COSMIC, and TIE-GCM at March Equinox.

WACCM-X results are compared with several datasets, and with a predecessor, the TIE-GCM during a very low solar activity year 2008. Comparisons with wind and temperature measurements by the TIMED satellite show that WACCM-X reproduces the seasonal variability of atmospheric tides remarkably well. There is overall agreement between WACCM-X, TIE-GCM, and vertical ion motions observed by the C/NOFS satellite over the magnetic equator, but apparent discrepancies also exist among them. The climatological features of ionospheric peak densities and heights from WACCM-X are in general agreement with results derived from COSMIC data, although the WACCM-X predicted peak values are smaller, and the equatorial ionosphere has bands of enhancement that are closer to the magnetic equator compared to COSMIC and ionosonde observations. These data-model comparisons demonstrate that WACCM-X can capture the basic climate and variation of the coupled atmosphere and ionosphere.

Publication Name: JGR-Space Physics