Ionospheric Climatology during Solar Minimum

Monday, June 5, 2017

In order to calculate the Earth’s whole atmosphere and ionosphere coupled system in a self-consistent way, new ionosphere and electrodynamo modules have been implemented in the thermosphere and ionosphere eXtension of WACCM-X. WACCX-X stands for the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model.

hmF2 comparison image
Monthly median hmF2 comparison between WACCM-X (left column), COSMIC (middle column), and TIE-GCM (right column) during March 2008. The white dotted line denotes the magnetic equator.

The first extended free run results from WACCM-X are compared with ionospheric data from the COSMIC mission, and the Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIE-GCM), during the deep solar minimum period of 2008- 2009. There is overall agreement among them. In general, WACCM-X better replicates the monthly median altitude of the peak density of the ionosphere (hmF2) than the TIE-GCM. Nighttime hmF2 at middle latitudes was slightly overestimated by the TIE-GCM.