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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-61
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 15 Jun 2018

Regular paper | 15 Jun 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

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

Erdal Yiğit1, Alexander S. Medvedev2, and Paul Hartogh2 Erdal Yiğit et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany

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.

Erdal Yiğit et al.
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Erdal Yiğit et al.
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Short summary
Carbon dioxide (CO2) clouds have been frequently observed in the Martian middle atmosphere. There are still uncertainties concerning the formation of the clouds. Using an atmospheric model for Mars, including a gravity wave parameterization, we assess the role of gravity wave in cloud formation. Simulations suggest that gravity wave processes constitute a necessary physical mechanism for CO2 cloud formation in the Martian upper atmosphere during all seasons.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) clouds have been frequently observed in the Martian middle atmosphere....
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