Contribution of the lower atmosphere to the day-to-day variation of thermospheric density
In this paper we carried out a numerical experiment using the Specified Dynamics mode of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and ionosphere eXtension (SD-WACCM-X). One SD-WACCM-X run was with realistic Kp and F10.7 and the other with constant Kp and F10.7. By comparing the day-to-day variability of thermosphere mass density at 300 km (low earth orbit, LEO) and 120 km (reentry level) in these two runs, we find that the density variation at 300 km is mainly driven by geomagnetic and solar forcing while at 120 km it is exclusively controlled by the lower atmosphere. At LEO altitudes, during solar minimum and geomagnetic quiet days, the impact from the lower atmosphere is much smaller than the effect of solar and geomagnetic variations but is not negligible (5–10\% vs 20\%).
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Advances in Space Research