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Impact of Arctic and Antarctic Sudden Stratospheric Warmings on Thermospheric Composition
  • +1
  • Jiarong Zhang,
  • Jens Oberheide,
  • Nicholas M Pedatella,
  • Guiping Liu
Jiarong Zhang
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Jens Oberheide
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
Nicholas M Pedatella
High Altitude Observatory, NSF National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
Guiping Liu
ITM Physics Laboratory, Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA


Using the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) and the Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI), we examine the impact of sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) on the changes of thermospheric composition during the 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 Arctic SSWs and the 2019 Antarctic SSW. Contributions of planetary waves, gravity waves, and migrating tides are assessed by performing numerical experiments with the NSF National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) vertically extended version of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM-X). The wind evolution simulated in WACCM-X aligns well with the quasi-geostrophic wind derived from Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) geopotential height measurements during Arctic and Antarctic SSWs. The variations in column integrated O and N2 density ratio (βˆ‘π‘‚/N2) are generally similar among WACCM-X, GOLD, and GUVI observations. Following the onset of SSWs, βˆ‘π‘‚/N2 is reduced by ~10% over 50Β°S-50Β°N and enhanced by ~20% at higher latitudes. The βˆ‘π‘‚/Nchanges are associated with the reversals of the mean meridional circulation in the lower thermosphere, mainly driven by westward-travelling planetary waves. The results highlight that planetary wave activity during SSWs can significantly impact the mean state of the thermosphere.
16 May 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 May 2024Published in ESS Open Archive