Recent Progress in Correctly Representing the Sun-Earth Connection in Earth System Models

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 2:10 PM
Daniel Robert Marsh, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
Detecting the atmospheric response to changes in solar irradiance and energetic particle fluxes on timescales up to several decades remains a significant challenge. The satellite observational record is still comparatively short. Attribution is hampered by the presence of other natural variability (e.g., that induced by volcanoes, ENSO or stratospheric sudden warmings) and also the possible non-linear response to a combination of forcings. Still, models and observations are rapidly improving. Several earth system models now fully resolve the middle atmosphere and include interactive chemistry. The observational database is growing to better characterize irradiance and particle fluxes and now includes many chemical constituents. This allows us to better represent both the solar-induced forcing of the atmosphere and how the physical system responds to that forcing. In this overview, I will attempt to summarize recent progress towards correctly representing the full Sun-Earth connection. Examples will be given of where advancements in model and observational capabilities would substantially improve this representation.