The Transport of Nitric Oxide in the Upper Atmosphere by Planetary Waves and the Zonal Mean Circulation.
A time-dependent numerical model was developed to study the interaction between planetary waves, the zonal mean circulation, and the trace constituent nitric oxide in the region between 55 km and 120 km. The factors which contribute to the structure of the nitric oxide distribution were examined, and the sensitivity of the distribution to changes in planetary wave amplitude was investigated. Wave -induced changes in the mean nitric oxide concentration were examined as a possible mechanism for the observed winter anomaly. Results obtained with the numerical model indicated that vertically-propagating planetary waves induce a wave -like structure in the nitric oxide distribution. This result was supported by an analysis of observational nitric oxide data. Model results also indicated that at certain levels, transports of nitric oxide by planetary waves could significantly affect the mean nitric oxide distribution. The magnitude and direction of these transports at a given level was found to depend not only on the amplitude of the planetary wave, but also on the loss rate of nitric oxide at that level. The effects of both traveling waves and amplifying waves on the mean nitric oxide distribution were examined. The wave-induced changes in the mean concentration were significant, but were probably not large enough to result in the large increase of electron density associated with the winter anomaly phenomena.
- Pub Date:
- March 1982
- Physics: Atmospheric Science