Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-25
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-25

  06 May 2021

06 May 2021

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

Simulated seasonal impact on middle atmospheric ozone from high-energy electron precipitation related to pulsating aurorae

Pekka T. Verronen1,2, Antti Kero1, Noora Partamies3,4, Monika E. Szelag2, Shin-Ichiro Oyama5, Yoshizumi Miyoshi5, and Esa Turunen1 Pekka T. Verronen et al.
  • 1Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Finland
  • 2Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland
  • 3The University Centre in Svalbard, Norway
  • 4Birkeland Centre of Space Science, Norway
  • 5Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Japan

Abstract. Recent simulation studies have provided evidence that pulsating aurorae (PsA) associated with high-energy electron precipitation is having a clear local impact on ozone chemistry in the polar middle mesosphere. However, it is not clear if PsA are frequent enough to cause longer-term effects of measurable magnitude. There is also an open question of the relative contribution of PsA-related energetic electron precipitation (PsA-EEP) to the total atmospheric forcing by solar energetic particle precipitation (EPP). Here we investigate the PsA-EEP impact on stratospheric and mesospheric odd hydrogen, odd nitrogen, and ozone concentrations. We make use of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model and recent understanding onPsA frequency, latitudinal and magnetic local time extent, and energy-flux spectra. Analysing an 18-month time period cover-ing all seasons, we particularly look at PsA-EEP impacts at two polar observation stations located at the opposite hemispheres: Tromso in the NH and Halley in the SH. We find that PsA-EEP can have a measurable impact on ozone concentration above 30 km altitude, with ozone depletion by up to 8 % seen in winter periods due to PsA-EEP-driven NOx enhancement. We also find that direct mesospheric NOx production by high-energy electrons (E > 100 keV) accounts for about half of the PsA-EEP-driven upper stratospheric ozone depletion. A larger PsA-EEP impact is seen the SH where the background dynamical variability is weaker than in the NH. Clearly indicated from our results, consideration of polar vortex dynamics is required to understand PsA-EEP impacts seen at ground observation stations, especially in the NH. We conclude that PsA-EEP has potential to make an important contribution to the total EPP forcing, thus it should be considered in atmospheric and climate simulations.

Pekka T. Verronen et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Katharine Duderstadt, 19 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jun 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021
  • CC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Allison Jaynes, 12 Jul 2021
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Katharine Duderstadt, 19 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jun 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021
  • CC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-25', Allison Jaynes, 12 Jul 2021
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', Pekka Verronen, 20 Aug 2021

Pekka T. Verronen et al.

Pekka T. Verronen et al.

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Short summary
This paper is the first to simulate and analyse the pulsating aurorae impact on middle atmosphere on monthly/seasonal time scales. We find that pulsating aurorae has the potential to make a considerable contribution to the total energetic particle forcing and increase the impact on upper stratospheric odd nitrogen and ozone in the polar regions. Thus it should be considered in atmospheric and climate simulations.