EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Interhemispheric comparison of mesosphere/lower thermosphere winds from GAIA, WACCM-X and ICON-UA simulations and meteor radar observations at mid- and polar latitudes

Gunter Stober1, Ales Kuchar2, Dimitry Pokhotelov3, Huixin Liu4, Hanli Liu5, Hauke Schmidt6, Christoph Jacobi2, Peter Brown7, Diego Janches8, Damian Murphy9, Alexander Kozlovsky10, Mark Lester11, Evgenia Belova12, and Johan Kero12
Gunter Stober et al.
  • 1University Bern, Institute of Applied Physics, Microwave Physics, Bern, Switzerland (
  • 2University Leipzig, Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig, Germany
  • 3German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Neustrelitz, Germany
  • 4Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Kyushu University, Japan
  • 5High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 6Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 7Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3K7 and Western Institute for Earth and Space Exploration, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada
  • 8ITM Physics Laboratory, Mail Code 675, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 9Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia
  • 10Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Finland
  • 11University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 12Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden

There is a growing scientific interest to investigate the forcing from the middle atmosphere dynamics on the thermosphere and ionosphere. This forcing is driven by atmospheric waves at various temporal and spatial scales. In this study, we cross-compare the nudged models Ground-to-topside model of Atmosphere and Ionosphere for Aeronomy (GAIA) and Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model Extended

Version (Specified dynamics) ( WACCM-X(SD)), a free-running version of Upper Atmosphere ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (ICON-UA) with six meteor radars located at conjugate polar and mid-latitudes. Mean winds, diurnal and semidiurnal tidal amplitudes and phases were obtained from the radar observations at the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) and compared to the GAIA, WACCM-X(SD), and ICON-UA data for similar locations applying a harmonized diagnostic.

Our results indicate that GAIA zonal and meridional winds show a good agreement to the meteor radars during the winter season on both hemispheres, whereas WACCM-X(SD) and ICON-UA seem to reproduce better the summer zonal wind reversal. However, the mean winds also exhibit some deviation in the seasonal characteristic concerning the meteor radar measurements, which are attributed to the gravity wave parameterizations implemented in the models. All three models tend to reflect the seasonality of diurnal tidal amplitudes, but show some dissimilarities in tidal phases. We also found systematic interhemispheric differences in the seasonal characteristic of semidiurnal amplitudes and phases. The free-running ICON-UA apparently shows most of these interhemispheric differences, whereas WACCM-X(SD) and GAIA trend to have better agreement of the semidiurnal tidal variability in the northern hemisphere.

How to cite: Stober, G., Kuchar, A., Pokhotelov, D., Liu, H., Liu, H., Schmidt, H., Jacobi, C., Brown, P., Janches, D., Murphy, D., Kozlovsky, A., Lester, M., Belova, E., and Kero, J.: Interhemispheric comparison of mesosphere/lower thermosphere winds from GAIA, WACCM-X and ICON-UA simulations and meteor radar observations at mid- and polar latitudes, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9191,, 2021.

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