Interhemispheric differences of mesosphere-lower thermosphere winds and tides investigated from three whole-atmosphere models and meteor radar observations

Gunter Stober, Ales Kuchar, Dimitry Pokhotelov, Huixin Liu, Han Li Liu, Hauke Schmidt, Christoph Jacobi, Kathrin Baumgarten, Peter Brown, Diego Janches, Damian Murphy, Alexander Kozlovsky, Mark Lester, Evgenia Belova, Johan Kero, Nicholas Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-term and continuous observations of mesospheric-lower thermospheric winds are rare, but they are important to investigate climatological changes at these altitudes on timescales of several years, covering a solar cycle and longer. Such long time series are a natural heritage of the mesosphere-lower thermosphere climate, and they are valuable to compare climate models or long-term runs of general circulation models (GCMs). Here we present a climatological comparison of wind observations from six meteor radars at two conjugate latitudes to validate the corresponding mean winds and atmospheric diurnal and semidiurnal tides from three GCMs, namely the Ground-to-Topside Model of Atmosphere and Ionosphere for Aeronomy (GAIA), the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model Extension (Specified Dynamics) (WACCM-X(SD)), and the Upper Atmosphere ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (UA-ICON) model. Our results indicate that there are interhemispheric differences in the seasonal characteristics of the diurnal and semidiurnal tide. There are also some differences in the mean wind climatologies of the models and the observations. Our results indicate that GAIA shows reasonable agreement with the meteor radar observations during the winter season, whereas WACCM-X(SD) shows better agreement with the radars for the hemispheric zonal summer wind reversal, which is more consistent with the meteor radar observations. The free-running UA-ICON tends to show similar winds and tides compared to WACCM-X(SD).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13855-13902
Number of pages48
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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