This paper for the first time presents a detailed comparison between simulated and observed global electron density responses to different atmospheric tides forced from below. The recently developed Earth's whole atmospheric model from the troposphere to the ionosphere, called GAIA, has been used for the simulation of the electron density tidal responses. They have been compared with the extracted from the COSMIC electron density data tidal responses for the period of time October 2007 to March 2009. Particular attention has been paid to the nonmigrating DE3/DE2 and migrating DW1, SW2 and TW3 electron density responses. The GAIA model reproduced quite well the COSMIC DE3/DE2 responses. Both simulations and observations revealed three altitude regions of enhanced electron density responses: (1) an upper level response, above 300 km height, apparently shaped mainly by the fountain effect; (2) a response located near altitudes of ∼200-270 km, and (3) a lower thermospheric response situated near 120-150 km height. A possible mechanism is suggested for explaining the two lower level responses. For the first time the GAIA model simulations supported the observational evidence found in the COSMIC measurements that the ionospheric WN4 (WN3) longitude structure is not generated only by the DE3 (DE2) tide as it has been often assumed. As regards the comparison of the migrating DW1, SW2 and TW3 responses the obtained results clearly demonstrate that the GAIA model reproduce very well of the SW2 and TW3 COSMIC electron density responses. The only main discrepancy is seen in the migrating DW1 response; the observation does not support the splitting of the simulated response at both sides of the equator. This is due mainly to the difference between the SABER and GAIA SW2 tide in the lower thermosphere as it turned out that the DW1 electron density response strongly depends on the mean features of the lower thermospheric SW2 tide.
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