Morphological features and variations of temperature in the upper thermosphere simulated by a whole atmosphere GCM
Abstract. In order to illustrate morphological features and variations of temperature in the upper thermosphere, we performed numerical simulations with a whole atmosphere general circulation model (GCM) for the solar minimum and geomagnetically quiet conditions in March, June, September, and December. In previous GCMs, tidal effects were imposed at the lower boundaries assuming dominant diurnal and semi-diurnal tidal modes. Since the GCM used in the present study covers all the atmospheric regions, the atmospheric tides with various modes are generated within the GCM. The global temperature distributions obtained from the GCM are in agreement with ones obtained from NRLMSISE-00. In addition, the GCM also represents localised temperature structures which are superimposed on the global day-night distributions. These localised structures, which vary from hour to hour, would be observed as variations with periods of about 2–3 h at a single site. The amplitudes of the 2–3 h variations are significant at high-latitude, while the amplitudes are small at low-latitude. The diurnal temperature variation is more clearly identified at low-latitude than at high-latitude. When we assume the same high-latitude convection electric field in each month, the temperature calculated in the polar cap region shows diurnal variation more clearly in winter than in summer. The midnight temperature maximum (MTM), which is one of the typical low-latitude temperature structures, is also seen in the GCM results. The MTMs in the GCM results show significant day-to-day variation with amplitudes of several 10s to about 150 K. The wind convergence and stream of warm air are found around the MTM. The GCM also represent the meridional wind reversals and/or abatements which are caused due to local time variations of airflow pattern in the low-latitude region.