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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-14
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-14
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 25 Mar 2020

Submitted as: regular paper | 25 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ANGEO and is expected to appear here in due course.

Magnetic local time dependency of radiation belt electron precipitation: impact on polar ozone

Pekka T. Verronen1,2, Daniel R. Marsh3,4, Monika E. Szeląg2, and Niilo Kalakoski2 Pekka T. Verronen et al.
  • 1Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 2Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Abstract. The radiation belts are regions in the near-Earth space where solar wind electrons are captured by the Earth's magnetic field. A portion of these electrons is continuously lost into the atmosphere where they cause ionisation and chemical changes. Driven by solar activity, electron forcing leads to ozone variability in the polar regions. Understanding possible dynamical connections to regional climate is an on-going research activity which supports the assessment of greenhouse gas driven climate change by better definition of the solar-driven variability. In the context of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), energetic electron and proton precipitation is included in the solar forcing recommendation for the first time. For radiation belt electrons, CMIP6 forcing is from a daily, zonal mean proxy model. This zonal mean model ignores the well-known dependency of precipitation on magnetic local time (MLT), i.e. its diurnal variability. Here we use the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with lower ionospheric chemistry extension (WACCM-D) to study the effect of MLT dependency of electron forcing on the polar ozone response. We analyse simulations applying MLT-dependent and MLT-independent forcings, and contrast ozone responses in monthly mean data as well as in monthly means of individual local time sectors. We consider two cases: 1) year 2003 and 2) extreme, long-duration forcing. Our results indicate that the ozone responses to MLT-dependent and MLT-independent forcings are very similar, and the differences found are small compared to those related to overall uncertainties in electron forcing. We conclude that electron forcing that ignores the MLT dependency will still provide an accurate ozone response in long-term climate simulations.

Pekka T. Verronen et al.

Pekka T. Verronen et al.

Pekka T. Verronen et al.

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Latest update: 09 Jul 2020
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Short summary
This paper is the first to study how representation of magnetic local time (MLT) dependency of electron precipitation impacts middle atmospheric ozone response on monthly time scales. We use state-of-the-art chemistry-climate model with detailed lower ionospheric chemistry for an advanced representation of atmospheric impacts of electron forcing. We find that electron forcing that ignores MLT-dependency will still provide an accurate ozone response for long-term climate simulations.
This paper is the first to study how representation of magnetic local time (MLT) dependency of...
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