Decreases in atomic hydrogen over the summer pole: Evidence for dehydration from polar mesospheric clouds?

David E. Siskind, Daniel R. Marsh, Martin G. Mlynczak, Javier Martin-Torres, James M. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Observations from the Sounding of the Atmosphere with Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument on the NASA/Thermospheric Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics satellite show a surprising decrease in the inferred atomic hydrogen (H) over the polar regions in the lowermost thermosphere during the summer. This contrasts with predictions by global models that H should peak in this region at this time. We suggest the decrease is a consequence of the sequestering of the water vapor by the formation of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) that redistributes the H2O thus reducing the chemical source of H. This decrease is more pronounced in the Northern rather than the Southern summer which is roughly consistent with the known morphology of PMCs. A model calculation which includes a PMC parameterization gives good qualitative agreement with the data suggesting that this process should be considered in global models of the coupling between the middle and upper atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL13809
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2008
Externally publishedYes

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polar mesospheric cloud
dehydration
summer
poles
hydrogen
middle atmosphere
mesosphere
thermosphere
upper atmosphere
sounding
polar region
parameterization
polar regions
ionospheres
water vapor
ionosphere
energetics
broadband
atmospheres
atmosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Decreases in atomic hydrogen over the summer pole : Evidence for dehydration from polar mesospheric clouds? / Siskind, David E.; Marsh, Daniel R.; Mlynczak, Martin G.; Martin-Torres, Javier; Russell, James M.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, No. 13, L13809, 16.07.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Siskind, David E. ; Marsh, Daniel R. ; Mlynczak, Martin G. ; Martin-Torres, Javier ; Russell, James M. / Decreases in atomic hydrogen over the summer pole : Evidence for dehydration from polar mesospheric clouds?. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2008 ; Vol. 35, No. 13.
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