Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3123–3136, 2016
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3123–3136, 2016

Development and technical paper 12 Sep 2016

Development and technical paper | 12 Sep 2016

D-region ion–neutral coupled chemistry (Sodankylä Ion Chemistry, SIC) within the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM 4) – WACCM-SIC and WACCM-rSIC

Tamás Kovács1, John M. C. Plane1, Wuhu Feng1,2, Tibor Nagy3, Martyn P. Chipperfield2, Pekka T. Verronen4, Monika E. Andersson4, David A. Newnham5, Mark A. Clilverd5, and Daniel R. Marsh6 Tamás Kovács et al.
  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 3IMEC, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • 4Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 5British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
  • 6National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. This study presents a new ion–neutral chemical model coupled into the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). The ionospheric D-region (altitudes ∼  50–90 km) chemistry is based on the Sodankylä Ion Chemistry (SIC) model, a one-dimensional model containing 307 ion–neutral and ion recombination, 16 photodissociation and 7 photoionization reactions of neutral species, positive and negative ions, and electrons. The SIC mechanism was reduced using the simulation error minimization connectivity method (SEM-CM) to produce a reaction scheme of 181 ion–molecule reactions of 181 ion–molecule reactions of 27 positive and 18 negative ions. This scheme describes the concentration profiles at altitudes between 20 km and 120 km of a set of major neutral species (HNO3, O3, H2O2, NO, NO2, HO2, OH, N2O5) and ions (O2+, O4+, NO+, NO+(H2O), O2+(H2O), H+(H2O), H+(H2O)2, H+(H2O)3, H+(H2O)4, O3, NO2, O, O2, OH, O2(H2O), O2(H2O)2, O4, CO3, CO3(H2O), CO4, HCO3, NO2, NO3, NO3(H2O), NO3(H2O)2, NO3(HNO3), NO3(HNO3)2, Cl, ClO), which agree with the full SIC mechanism within a 5 % tolerance. Four 3-D model simulations were then performed, using the impact of the January 2005 solar proton event (SPE) on D-region HOx and NOx chemistry as a test case of four different model versions: the standard WACCM (no negative ions and a very limited set of positive ions); WACCM-SIC (standard WACCM with the full SIC chemistry of positive and negative ions); WACCM-D (standard WACCM with a heuristic reduction of the SIC chemistry, recently used to examine HNO3 formation following an SPE); and WACCM-rSIC (standard WACCM with a reduction of SIC chemistry using the SEM-CM method). The standard WACCM misses the HNO3 enhancement during the SPE, while the full and reduced model versions predict significant NOx, HOx and HNO3 enhancements in the mesosphere during solar proton events. The SEM-CM reduction also identifies the important ion–molecule reactions that affect the partitioning of odd nitrogen (NOx), odd hydrogen (HOx) and O3 in the stratosphere and mesosphere.

Short summary
This study was completed on D-region atmospheric model development. The sophisticated 3-D Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) and the 1-D Sodynkalä Ion and Neutral Chemistry Model (SIC) were combined in order to provide a detailed, accurate model (WACCM-SIC) that considers the processes taking place in solar proton events. The original SIC model was reduced by mechanism reduction, which provided an accurate sub-mechanism (rSIC, WACCM-rSIC) of the original model.