Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences: Dr.Nick Pedatella asserts that the recent development of whole atmosphere models that extend from the surface to the upper thermosphere represents a significant advance in modeling capabilities of the ionosphere-thermosphere. Whole atmosphere models have had an especially important influence on understanding the role of terrestrial weather on generating variability in the ionosphere-thermosphere. This paper provides an overview of the scientific motivations and contributions made by whole atmosphere modeling. This is followed by a discussion of future directions in whole atmosphere modeling and the science that they will enable.

Lower-atmosphere processes in the ionosphere-thermosphere

Schematic of the various mechanisms through which lower-atmosphere processes influence the ionosphere-thermosphere. Whole atmosphere models are critical for understanding these processes.

Figure from the 2013 Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey.