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Title: A Comparative Study of Ionospheric Day‐To‐Day Variability Over Wuhan Based on Ionosonde Measurements and Model Simulations

Ionospheric day‐to‐day variability is essential for understanding the space environment, while it is still challenging to properly quantify and forecast. In the present work, the day‐to‐day variability of F2 layer peak electron densities (NmF2) is examined from both observational and modeling perspectives. Ionosonde data over Wuhan station (30.5°N, 114.5°E; 19.3°N magnetic latitude) are compared with simulations from the specific dynamics Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and ionosphere eXtension (SD‐WACCM‐X) and the Thermosphere‐Ionosphere‐Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM) in 2009 and 2012. Both SD‐WACCM‐X and TIEGCM are driven by the realistic 3 h geomagnetic index and daily solar input, and the former includes self‐consistently solved physics and chemistry in the lower atmosphere. The correlation coefficient between observations and SD‐WACCM‐X simulations is much larger than that of the TIEGCM simulations, especially during dusk in 2009 and nighttime in 2012. Both the observed and SD‐WACCM‐X simulated day‐to‐day variability of NmF2 reveal a similar day‐night dependence in 2012 that increases large during the nighttime and decreases during the daytime, and shows favorable consistency of daytime variability in 2009. Both the observations and SD‐WACCM‐X simulations also display semiannual variations in nighttime NmF2 variability, although the month with maximum variability is slightly different. However, TIEGCM does not reproduce the day‐night dependence or the semiannual variations well. The results emphasize the necessity for realistic lower atmospheric perturbations to characterize ionospheric day‐to‐day variability. This work also provides a validation of the SD‐WACCM‐X in terms of ionospheric day‐to‐day variability.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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