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Journal Article

Response of the mesosphere to human-induced perturbations and solar variability calculated by a 2-D model


Brasseur,  Guy P.       
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Khosravi, R., Brasseur, G. P., Smith, A., Rusch, D., Walters, S., Chabrillat, S., et al. (2002). Response of the mesosphere to human-induced perturbations and solar variability calculated by a 2-D model. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 107: 4358. doi:10.1029/2001JD001235.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-0244-E
[1] We have used the improved NCAR interactive 2-D model (SOCRATES) to investigate the chemical and thermal response of the mesosphere to composition changes from the preindustrial era (similar to 1850) to the present, to doubling the CO2 concentration, and to the 11-year solar flux variability. The calculations show that all regions in the model mesosphere have cooled relative to the preindustrial times. The mesopause region has cooled by approximate to 5 K and the winter pole by up to 9 K near 60 km. Ozone mixing ratio has decreased by about 5% in the lower mesosphere and by about 30% near the summer mesopause region (caused by a dramatic increase in [OH]). Doubling the CO2 abundance cools the whole mesosphere by about 4-16 K and has a complicated effect on O-3, which exhibits an alternating increase/decrease behavior from the lower mesosphere up to the mesopause region. Similar results are obtained, in both magnitude and structure, for the O-3 response to a decrease in solar UV flux. Similarities are also found in the response of T, OH, and H to these two perturbations. These results lead to the conclusion that the long-term increase in the well-mixed greenhouse gases, in particular CO2, alters the thermal structure and chemical composition of the mesosphere significantly and that these anthropogenic effects are of the same magnitude as the effects associated with the 11-year solar cycle. Thus, the difference in the timescales involved suggests that the anthropogenic signal over periods of typically 10 years is smaller than the signal generated by the 11-year solar variability. Finally, analysis of the results from a simulation of the combined perturbations (2 x CO2 + 11-year solar variability) shows that, for the most part, the solar variability does not interact with increasing CO2 and vice versa; that is, the two effects are additive.