A study of a self-generated stratospheric sudden warming and its mesospheric–lower thermospheric impacts using the coupled TIME-GCM/CCM3



[1] A stratospheric sudden warming episode was self-consistently generated in the coupled National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, and Electrodynamics General Circulation Model/Climate Community Model version 3 (TIME-GCM/CCM3). Taking advantage of the unique vertical range of the coupled model (ground to 500 km), we were able to study the coupling of the lower and upper atmosphere in this warming episode. Planetary wave 1 is the dominant wave component in this warming event. Analysis of the wave phase structure and the wave amplitude indicates that the wave may experience resonant amplification prior to the peak warming. The mean wind in the high-latitude winter stratopause and mesosphere decelerates and reverses to westward due to planetary wave forcing and forms a critical layer near the zero wind lines. The wind deceleration and reversal also change the filtering of gravity waves by allowing more eastward gravity waves to propagate into the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT), which causes eastward forcing and reverses the westward jet in the MLT. This also changes the meridional circulation in the upper mesosphere from poleward/downward to equatorward/upward, causing a depletion of the peak atomic oxygen layer at 97 km and significant reduction of green line airglow emission at high latitudes and midlatitudes. Planetary waves forced in situ by filtered gravity waves in the MLT grow in the warming episode. Their growth and interaction with tides create diurnal and semidiurnal variabilities in the zonal mean zonal wind.