Motivated by numerous lower atmosphere climate model hindcast simulations, we performed simulations of the Earth's atmosphere from the surface up through the thermosphere‐ionosphere to reveal for the first time the century scale changes in the upper atmosphere from the 1920s through the 2010s using the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model—eXtended (WACCM‐X v. 2.1). We impose solar minimum conditions to get a clear indication of the effects of the long‐term forcing from greenhouse gas increases and changes of the Earth's magnetic field and to avoid the requirement for careful removal of the 11‐year solar cycle as in some previous studies using observations and models. These previous studies have shown greenhouse gas effects in the upper atmosphere but what has been missing is the time evolution with actual greenhouse gas increases throughout the last century, including the period of less than 5% increase prior to the space age and the transition to the over 25% increase in the latter half of the 20th century. Neutral temperature, density, and ionosphere changes are close to those reported in previous studies. Also, we find high correlation between the continuous carbon dioxide rate of change over this past century and that of temperature in the thermosphere and the ionosphere, attributed to the shorter adjustment time of the upper atmosphere to greenhouse gas changes relative to the longer time in the lower atmosphere. Consequently, WACCM‐X future scenario projections can provide valuable insight in the entire atmosphere of future greenhouse gas effects and mitigation efforts.
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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