logo

Chinese Science Bulletin, Volume 65 , Issue 14 : 1320-1335(2020) https://doi.org/10.1360/TB-2019-0803

Upper atmosphere modeling: From Earth to Planet

Zhipeng Ren 1,2,3,4,*
More info
  • ReceivedDec 9, 2019
  • AcceptedJan 20, 2020
  • PublishedApr 8, 2020

Abstract

The upper atmosphere is the main area of human space activities. It is affected by the neutral atmospheric process, the space plasma process and the coupling between the atmosphere and the space environment. The upper atmosphere is an interdisciplinary research field of atmospheric science and space science.

Studying the process and characteristics of upper atmosphere and revealing their formation mechanism are the key tasks in space physics and space weather research. Observations always have the limitations of type and spatio-temporal coverage. Therefore, the numerical models play a more important role to reproduce various physical and chemical processes of the upper atmosphere comprehensively. They have exhibited unique advantages and been one of the hot spots in the community.

The upper atmosphere cannot be simply regarded as an extension of the middle and lower atmosphere physically. The numerical model of the upper atmosphere must take into account the limitations induced by the characteristics of the upper atmosphere in model design, coordinate system selection and model algorithm. Therefore, the model development of the upper atmosphere has experienced a long time.

In the past decades, modeling of the Earth’s upper atmosphere has made great progress. The community has successfully developed several self-consistent numerical models of the upper atmosphere such as TIEGCM, CTIPe, GCITEM-IGGCAS, and etc. These models have made great contributions in the research of the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Although the upper atmosphere of the Earth and other planets show obvious differences, the upper atmosphere numerical models of the Earth and other planets closely relate with each other. Most models of other planets were developed on the basis of the Earth’s models. Great progress has been made in the numerical modeling and corresponding research of the planetary upper atmosphere.

Due to the lack of understanding of the planetary upper atmosphere at present, comparing with the numerical model of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, there are many problems in the numerical model of the planetary upper atmosphere, such as the relatively simple physical process, poor ability to reproduce the real planetary upper atmosphere, insufficient self-consistency of the model, dependence on the input from empirical model or observation. In general, the development of the numerical model of the planetary upper atmosphere is relatively lagging behind. The numerical models of the planetary upper atmosphere need further development.

This review focuses on the upper atmosphere numerical models of the Earth and planets. We will systematically introduce the development history and performance of the corresponding main models.


Funded by

中国科学院A类战略性先导科技专项(XDA17010404,XDA17010201)

国家自然科学基金(41874179,41674158)


References

[1] Kohl H, King J W. Atmospheric winds between 100 and 700 km and their effects on the ionosphere. J Atmos Terrestrial Phys, 1967, 29: 1045-1062 CrossRef Google Scholar

[2] Lindzent R S, Hong S S. Equivalent gravity modes—An interim evaluation. Geophys Fluid Dyn, 1973, 4: 279-292 CrossRef Google Scholar

[3] Fuller-Rowell T J, Rees D. A three-dimensional time-dependent global model of the thermosphere. J Atmos Sci, 1980, 37: 2545–2567. Google Scholar

[4] Dickinson R E, Ridley E C, Roble R G. A three-dimensional general circulation model of the thermosphere. J Geophys Res, 1981, 86: 1499-1512 CrossRef Google Scholar

[5] Dickinson R E, Ridley E C, Roble R G. Meridional circulation in the thermosphere I. Equinox conditions. J Atmos Sci, 1975, 32: 1737-1754 CrossRef Google Scholar

[6] Dickinson R E, Ridley E C, Roble R G. Meridional circulation in the thermosphere. II. Solstice conditions. J Atmos Sci, 1977, 34: 178-192 CrossRef Google Scholar

[7] Dickinson R E, Ridley E C. Numerical solution for the composition of a thermosphere in the presence of a steady subsolar to-antisolar circulation with application to venus. J Atmos Sci, 1972, 29: 1557-1570 CrossRef Google Scholar

[8] Dickinson R E, Ridley E C, Roble R G. Thermospheric general circulation with coupled dynamics and composition. J Atmos Sci, 1984, 41: 205-219 CrossRef Google Scholar

[9] Roble R G, Dickinson R E, Ridley E C. Global circulation and temperature structure of thermosphere with high-latitude plasma convection. J Geophys Res, 1982, 87: 1599-1614 CrossRef Google Scholar

[10] Roble R G, Ridley E C. An auroral model for the NCAR thermospheric general circulation model (TGCM). Ann Geophys, 1987, 5: 369–382. Google Scholar

[11] Roble R G, Ridley E C, Dickinson R E. On the global mean structure of the thermosphere. J Geophys Res, 1987, 92: 8745-8758 CrossRef Google Scholar

[12] Roble R G, Ridley E C, Richmond A D, et al. A coupled thermosphere/ionosphere general circulation model. Geophys Res Lett, 1988, 15: 1325-1328 CrossRef Google Scholar

[13] Forbes J M, Roble R G, Fesen C G. Acceleration, heating, and compositional mixing of the thermosphere due to upward propagating tides. J Geophys Res, 1993, 98: 311-321 CrossRef Google Scholar

[14] Richmond A D, Ridley E C, Roble R G. A thermosphere/ionosphere general circulation model with coupled electrodynamics. Geophys Res Lett, 1992, 19: 601-604 CrossRef Google Scholar

[15] Richmond A D. Ionospheric electrodynamics using magnetic apex coordinates. J Geomagn Geoelec, 1995, 47: 191-212 CrossRef Google Scholar

[16] Roble R G. Energetics of the mesosphere and thermosphere. In: Johnson R M, Killeen T L, eds. The Upper Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere: A Review of Experiment and Theory. Geophys Monogr Ser, Vol. 87. Washington DC: American Geophysics Union, 1995. Google Scholar

[17] Roble R G, Ridley E C. A thermosphere-ionosphere-mesosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model (time-GCM): Equinox solar cycle minimum simulations (30–500 km). Geophys Res Lett, 1994, 21: 417-420 CrossRef Google Scholar

[18] Wang W. A thermosphere-ionosphere nested grid model. Doctor Dissertation. Michigan: The University of Michigan, 1997. Google Scholar

[19] Wang W, Killeen T L, Burns A G, et al. A high-resolution, three-dimensional, time dependent, nested grid model of the coupled thermosphere-ionosphere. J Atmos Sol-Terr Phys, 1999, 61: 385-397 CrossRef Google Scholar

[20] Peymirat C, Richmond A D, Emery B A, et al. A magnetosphere-thermosphere-ionosphere electrodynamics general circulation model. J Geophys Res, 1998, 103: 17467-17477 CrossRef Google Scholar

[21] Wang W, Wiltberger M, Burns A G, et al. Initial results from the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere model: Thermosphere-ionosphere responses. J Atmos Sol-Terr Phys, 2004, 66: 1425-1441 CrossRef Google Scholar

[22] Mendillo M, Rishbeth H, Roble R G, et al. Modelling F2-layer seasonal trends and day-to-day variability driven by coupling with the lower atmosphere. J Atmos Sol-Terr Phys, 2002, 64: 1911–1931. Google Scholar

[23] Rees D, Fuller-Rowell T J, Smith R W. Measurements of high latitude thermospheric winds by rocket and ground-based techniques and their interpretation using a three-dimensional, time-dependent dynamical model. Planet Space Sci, 1980, 28: 919-932 CrossRef Google Scholar

[24] Fuller-Rowell T J, Rees D. Derivation of a conservation equation for mean molecular weight for a two-constituent gas within a three-dimensional, time-dependent model of the thermosphere. Planet Space Sci, 1983, 31: 1209-1222 CrossRef Google Scholar

[25] Quegan S, Bailey G J, Moffett R J, et al. A theoretical study of the distribution of ionization in the high-latitude ionosphere and the plasmasphere: First results on the mid-latitude trough and the light-ion trough. J Atmos Terr Phys, 1982, 44: 619-640 CrossRef Google Scholar

[26] Millward G H. A global model of the earth’s thermosphere, ionosphere and plasmasphere: Theoretical studies of the response to enhanced high-latitude convection. Doctor Dissertation. Sheffield: University of Sheffield, 1993. Google Scholar

[27] Fuller-Rowell T J, Rees D, Quegan S, et al. Interactions between neutral thermospheric composition and the polar ionosphere using a coupled ionosphere-thermosphere model. J Geophys Res, 1987, 92: 7744-7748 CrossRef Google Scholar

[28] Millward G H, Moffett R J, Quegan W, et al. A coupled thermospheric-ionospheric-plasmasphere Model (CTIP). In: Schunk R W, ed. STEP: Handbook of Ionospheric Models. Utath: Utath State University, 1996. 173. Google Scholar

[29] Millward G H, Müller-Wodarg I C F, Aylward A D, et al. An investigation into the influence of tidal forcing on F region equatorial vertical ion drift using a global ionosphere-thermosphere model with coupled electrodynamics. J Geophys Res, 2001, 106: 24733-24744 CrossRef Google Scholar

[30] Harris M J, Arnold N F, Aylward A D. A study into the effect of the diurnal tide on the structure of the background mesosphere and thermosphere using the new coupled middle atmosphere and thermosphere (CMAT) general circulation model. Ann Geophys, 2002, 20: 225-235 CrossRef Google Scholar

[31] Namgaladze A A, Korenkov Y N, Klimenko V V, et al. Global model of the thermosphere-ionosphere-protonosphere system. Pure Appl Geophys, 1988, 127: 219-254 CrossRef Google Scholar

[32] Namgaladze A A, Korenkov Y N, Klimenko V V, et al. A global numerical model of the thermosphere, ionosphere, and protonosphere of the earth. Geomag Aeron, 1990, 30: 515–521. Google Scholar

[33] Namgaladze A A, Korenkov Y N, Klimenko V V, et al. Numerical modelling of the thermosphere-ionosphere-protonosphere system. J Atmos Terr Phys, 1991, 53: 1113-1124 CrossRef Google Scholar

[34] Ridley A J, Deng Y, Tóth G. The global ionosphere-thermosphere model. J Atmos Sol-Terr Phys, 2006, 68: 839-864 CrossRef Google Scholar

[35] Miyoshi Y, Fujiwara H. Day-to-day variations of migrating diurnal tide simulated by a GCM from the ground surface to the exobase. Geophys Res Lett, 2003, 30: 1789. Google Scholar

[36] Akmaev R A, Fuller-Rowell T J, Wu F, et al. Tidal variability in the lower thermosphere: Comparison of Whole Atmosphere Model (WAM) simulations with observations from TIMED. Geophys Res Lett, 2008, 35: 10-29 CrossRef Google Scholar

[37] Fuller-Rowell T J, Akmaev R A, Wu F, et al. Impact of terrestrial weather on the upper atmosphere. Geophys Res Lett, 2008, 35: L09808. Google Scholar

[38] Liu H L, Bardeen C G, Foster B T, et al. Development and validation of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and ionosphere extension (WACCM-X). J Adv Model Earth Sys, 2018, 10: 381–402. Google Scholar

[39] Liu H L, Foster B T, Hagan M E, et al. Thermosphere extension of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model. J Geophys Res, 2010, 115: A12302. Google Scholar

[40] Wang J S, Xiao Z. Thermospheric circulation model in meridian plane I-Storm time variations in thermal status and circulation. Sci China Ser E Tech Sci, 2000, 43: 577–585. Google Scholar

[41] Lei J, Liu L, Luan X, et al. Model study on neutral winds in ionospheric F-region and comparison with the equivalent winds derived from the Wuhan ionosonde data. Terr Atmos Oceanic Sci, 2003, 14: 1–12. Google Scholar

[42] Ren Z, Wan W, Liu L. GCITEM-IGGCAS: A new global coupled ionosphere-thermosphere-electrodynamics model. J Atmos Sol-Terr Phys, 2009, 71: 2064-2076 CrossRef Google Scholar

[43] Ren Z, Wan W, Wei Y, et al. A theoretical model for mid- and low-latitude ionospheric electric fields in realistic geomagnetic fields. Chin Sci Bull, 2008, 53: 3883–3890. Google Scholar

[44] Richmond A D, Kamide Y. Mapping electrodynamic features of the high-latitude ionosphere from localized observations: Technique. J Geophys Res, 1988, 93: 5741-5759 CrossRef Google Scholar

[45] Maruyama N. Dynamic and energetic coupling in the equatorial ionosphere and thermosphere. J Geophys Res, 2003, 108: 1396 CrossRef Google Scholar

[46] Lei J, Thayer J P, Wang W, et al. Simulations of the equatorial thermosphere anomaly: Field-aligned ion drag effect. J Geophys Res, 2012, 117: A01304 CrossRef Google Scholar

[47] Dang T, Lei J, Wang W, et al. Suppression of the polar tongue ofionization during the 21 August 2017solar eclipse. Geophys Res Lett, 2018, 45: 2918–2925. Google Scholar

[48] Yue X, Wang W, Lei J, et al. Long-lasting negative ionospheric storm effects in low and middle latitudes during the recovery phase of the 17 March 2013 geomagnetic storm. J Geophys Res Space Phys, 2016, 121: 9234-9249 CrossRef Google Scholar

[49] McElroy M B. The upper atmosphere of Mars. Astrophys J, 1967, 150: 1125-1138 CrossRef Google Scholar

[50] McElroy M B. The upper atmosphere of Venus. J Geophys Res, 1968, 73: 1513-1521 CrossRef Google Scholar

[51] McElroy M B. Structure of the Venus and Mars atmospheres. J Geophys Res, 1969, 74: 29-41 CrossRef Google Scholar

[52] Stewart R W. Interpretation of Mariner 5 and Venera 4 data on the upper atmosphere of Venus. J Atmos Sci, 1968, 25: 578-579 CrossRef Google Scholar

[53] Stewart R W. The electron distributions in the Mars and Venus upper atmospheres. J Atmos Sci, 1971, 28: 1069-1073 CrossRef Google Scholar

[54] Fox J L. Response of the Martian thermosphere/ionosphere to enhanced fluxes of solar soft X rays. J Geophys Res, 2004, 109: A11310 CrossRef Google Scholar

[55] Fox J L, Sung K Y. Solar activity variations of the Venus thermosphere/ionosphere. J Geophys Res, 2001, 106: 21305-21335 CrossRef Google Scholar

[56] Fox J L, Yeager K E. Morphology of the near-terminator Martian ionosphere: A comparison of models and data. J Geophys Res, 2006, 111: A10309 CrossRef Google Scholar

[57] Bell J M. The dynamics of the upper atmospheres of Mars and Titan. Doctor Dissertation. Michigan: University of Michigan, 2008. Google Scholar

[58] Bell J M, Bougher S W, Waite Jr J H, et al. Simulating the one-dimensional structure of Titan’s upper atmosphere: 1. Formulation of the Titan Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model and benchmark simulations. J Geophys Res, 2010, 115: E12002 CrossRef Google Scholar

[59] Bell J M, Bougher S W, Waite Jr J H, et al. Simulating the one-dimensional structure of Titan’s upper atmosphere: 2. Alternative scenarios for methane escape. J Geophys Res, 2010, 115: E12018 CrossRef Google Scholar

[60] Bell J M, Bougher S W, Waite Jr J H, et al. Simulating the one-dimensional structure of Titan’s upper atmosphere: 3. Mechanisms determining methane escape. J Geophys Res, 2011, 116: E11002 CrossRef Google Scholar

[61] Bell J M, Waite Jr J H, Westlake J H, et al. Developing a self-consistent description of Titan’s upper atmosphere without hydrodynamic escape. J Geophys Res Space Phys, 2014, 119: 4957-4972 CrossRef Google Scholar

[62] Bougher S W, Dickinson R E, Ridley E C, et al. Venus mesosphere and thermosphere. Icarus, 1988, 73: 545-573 CrossRef Google Scholar

[63] Bougher S W, Gérard J C, Stewart A I F, et al. The Venus nitric oxide night airglow: Model calculations based on the Venus thermospheric general circulation model. J Geophys Res, 1990, 95: 6271-6284 CrossRef Google Scholar

[64] Bougher S W, Borucki W J. Venus O2 visible and IR nightglow: Implications for lower thermosphere dynamics and chemistry. J Geophys Res, 1994, 99: 3759-3776 CrossRef Google Scholar

[65] Zhang S, Bougher S W, Alexander M J. The impact of gravity waves on the Venus thermosphere and O2 IR nightglow. J Geophys Res, 1996, 101: 23195-23205 CrossRef Google Scholar

[66] Bougher S W, Alexander M J, Mayr H G. Upper atmosphere dynamics: Global circulation and gravity waves. In: Bougher S W, Hunten D M, Philips R J, eds. Venus II. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997. 259–292. Google Scholar

[67] Bougher S W, Engel S, Roble R G, et al. Comparative terrestrial planet thermospheres: 2. Solar cycle variation of global structure and winds at equinox. J Geophys Res, 1999, 104: 16591-16611 CrossRef Google Scholar

[68] Bougher S W, Roble R G, Fuller-Rowell T J. Simulations of the upper atmospheres of the terrestrial planets, in Atmospheres in the Solar System: Comparative Aeronomy. In: Mendillo M, Nagy A, Waite H, eds. Geophysical Monograph, Vol. 130. Washington: American Geophysical Union, 2002. 261–288. Google Scholar

[69] Bougher S, Keating G, Zurek R, et al. Mars global surveyor aerobraking: Atmospheric trends and model interpretation. Adv Space Res, 1999, 23: 1887-1897 CrossRef Google Scholar

[70] Bougher S W, Engel S, Roble R G, et al. Comparative terrestrial planet thermospheres: 3. Solar cycle variation of global structure and winds at solstices. J Geophys Res, 2000, 105: 17669-17692 CrossRef Google Scholar

[71] Bougher S W. MGS radio science electron density profiles: Interannual variability and implications for the Martian neutral atmosphere. J Geophys Res, 2004, 109: E03010 CrossRef Google Scholar

[72] Bougher S W, Bell J M, Murphy J R, et al. Polar warming in the Mars thermosphere: Seasonal variations owing to changing insolation and dust distributions. Geophys Res Lett, 2006, 33: L02203 CrossRef Google Scholar

[73] Bell J M, Bougher S W, Murphy J R. Vertical dust mixing and the interannual variations in the Mars thermosphere. J Geophys Res, 2007, 112: E12002 CrossRef Google Scholar

[74] López-Valverde M A, Edwards D P, López-Puertas M, et al. Non-local thermodynamic equilibrium in general circulation models of the Martian atmosphere 1. Effects of the local thermodynamic equilibrium approximation on thermal cooling and solar heating. J Geophys Res, 1998, 103: 16799–16812. Google Scholar

[75] Bougher S W, Pawlowski D, Bell J M, et al. Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model: Solar cycle, seasonal, and diurnal variations of the Mars upper atmosphere. J Geophys Res Planets, 2015, 120: 311-342 CrossRef Google Scholar

[76] Ren Z P, Liu Y B, Wan W X, et al. Design of the Mars Thermosphere-Ionosphere Model (in Chinese). Annual Meeting of Chinese Geoscience Union (CGU), 2017 [任志鹏, 刘耘博, 万卫星, 等. 火星热层电离层耦合模式设计. 2017年中国地球科学联合学术年会, 2017]. Google Scholar

[77] Achilleos N, Miller S, Tennyson J, et al. JIM: A time-dependent, three-dimensional model of Jupiter’s thermosphere and ionosphere. J Geophys Res, 1998, 103: 20089-20112 CrossRef Google Scholar

[78] Bougher S W. Jupiter Thermospheric General Circulation Model (JTGCM): Global structure and dynamics driven by auroral and Joule heating. J Geophys Res, 2005, : 110: E04008 CrossRef Google Scholar

[79] Majeed T, Waite Jr J H, Bougher S W, et al. Processes of equatorial thermal structure at Jupiter: An analysis of the Galileo temperature profile with a three-dimensional model. J Geophys Res, 2005, 110: E12007 CrossRef Google Scholar

[80] Majeed T, Waite J H, Bougher S W, et al. Processes of auroral thermal structure at Jupiter: Analysis of multispectral temperature observations with the Jupiter Thermosphere General Circulation Model. J Geophys Res, 2009, 114: E07005 CrossRef Google Scholar

[81] Yelle R V, Miller S. Jupiter’s thermosphere and ionosphere. In: Bagenal F, Dowling T, McKinnon W, eds. Jupiter: The Planet, Satellites, and Magnetosphere. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 185– 218. Google Scholar

[82] Müller-Wodarg I, Mendillo M, Yelle R, et al. A global circulation model of Saturn’s thermosphere. Icarus, 2006, 180: 147-160 CrossRef Google Scholar

[83] Müller-Wodarg I C F, Yelle R V, Mendillo M, et al. The thermosphere of Titan simulated by a global three-dimensional time-dependent model. J Geophys Res, 2000, 105: 20833-20856 CrossRef Google Scholar

[84] Bell J M, Westlake J, Waite J H. Simulating the time-dependent response of Titan’s upper atmosphere to magnetospheric forcing. Geophys Res Lett, 2011, 38: L06202. Google Scholar

[85] Bougher S W, Blelly P L, Combi M, et al. Neutral upper atmosphere and ionosphere modeling. Space Sci Rev, 2008, 139: 107-141 CrossRef Google Scholar

  • Figure 1

    The altitudinal profiles of atmospheric density of different neutral chemical components

  • Figure 2

    The structure of GCITEM-IGGCAS model

  • Figure 3

    Neutral temperature (K) and horizontal neutral wind velocity (m/s) from GCITEM-IGGCAS simulation (a) and from MSIS00/HWM93 empirical model (b) at the height of 405 km at 0000 UT for March Equinox

  • Figure 4

    The structure Mars’ upper atmospheric theoretical models

  • Table 1   Table 1 Current Earth’s upper atmospheric theoretical models

    模式名称

    坐标系

    全球覆盖

    包含发电机过程

    地磁场

    真实大气模拟能力

    开发国家

    TIEGCM

    地理-压力

    非偶极场

    较强

    美国

    CTIPE

    地理-压力

    偶极场

    较强

    英国-美国

    GSM TIP

    地磁-高度

    仅E区发电机

    偶极场

    较强

    俄罗斯

    GCITEM-IGGCAS

    地理-高度

    非偶极场

    较强

    中国

    GITM

    地理-高度

    非偶极场

    较强

    美国

  • Table 2   Table 2 Current planet’s upper atmospheric theoretical models

    模式名称

    对应星球

    是否有一维模式

    对应的地球模式

    开发国家

    VTGCM

    金星

    TIEGCM

    美国

    MTGCM

    火星

    TIEGCM

    美国

    MGITM

    火星

    GITM

    美国

    JTGCM

    木星

    TIEGCM

    美国

    JIM

    木星

    CTIM

    英国

    STIM

    土星

    美国-英国

    TTIM

    土卫六

    美国-英国

    TGITM

    土卫六

    GITM

    美国

Copyright 2020  CHINA SCIENCE PUBLISHING & MEDIA LTD.  中国科技出版传媒股份有限公司  版权所有

京ICP备14028887号-23       京公网安备11010102003388号