Impacts of sudden stratospheric warming on general circulation of the thermosphere

Yasunobu Miyoshi, Hitoshi Fujiwara, Hidekatsu Jin, Hiroyuki Shinagawa

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Impacts of sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) on the thermosphere were studied using a gravity wave (GW)-resolving whole atmosphere model. During an SSW event, the mesosphere at high latitudes cools, and the lower thermosphere becomes warm. At the peak of the SSW event, a temperature drop occurs above an altitude of 150 km at high latitudes. Our results indicate that the SSW event strongly affects meridional circulation and GW drag in the thermosphere. In the lower thermosphere, upward wind in the Arctic region, southward wind in the region between the North Pole and the South Pole, and downward wind in the Antarctic region are dominant before SSW occurs. The SSW event reverses meridional circulation at altitudes between 90 and 125 km in the Northern Hemisphere. During the SSW event, downward wind in the Arctic region and northward wind in the Northern Hemisphere prevail in the lower thermosphere. A detailed analysis revealed that during the SSW event, the change in meridional circulation is caused by the attenuation of the GW drag, and we identified the mechanism responsible for this attenuation. Moreover, we assessed the impacts of SSW on temperatures in the equatorial region and Southern Hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10897-10912
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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