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Influence of gravity waves on the climatology of high-altitude Martian carbon dioxide ice clouds

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Medvedev,  Alexander S.
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Hartogh,  Paul
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Yiğit, E., Medvedev, A. S., & Hartogh, P. (2018). Influence of gravity waves on the climatology of high-altitude Martian carbon dioxide ice clouds. Annales Geophysicae, 36, 1631-1646. doi:10.5194/angeo-36-1631-2018.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-88F0-6
Abstract
Carbon dioxide (CO2) ice clouds have been routinely observed in the middle atmosphere of Mars. However, there are still uncertainties concerning physical mechanisms that control their altitude, geographical, and seasonal distributions. Using the Max Planck Institute Martian General Circulation Model (MPI-MGCM), incorporating a state-of-the-art whole atmosphere subgrid-scale gravity wave parameterization (Yiğit et al., 2008), we demonstrate that internal gravity waves generated by lower atmospheric weather processes have wide reaching impact on the Martian climate. Globally, GWs cool the upper atmosphere of Mars by ~10 % and facilitate high-altitude CO2 ice cloud formation. CO2 ice cloud seasonal variations in the mesosphere and the mesopause region appreciably coincide with the spatio-temporal variations of GW effects, providing insight into the observed distribution of clouds. Our results suggest that GW propagation and dissipation constitute a necessary physical mechanism for CO2 ice cloud formation in the Martian upper atmosphere during all seasons.