|Citation:||Zhou, X., Yue, X. A., Liu, H.-L., Wei, Y. and Pan, Y. X. (2021). Response of atmospheric carbon dioxide to the secular variation of weakening geomagnetic field in whole atmosphere simulations. Earth Planet. Phys., 5(4), 327–336. doi: 10.26464/epp2021040|
Responses of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) density to geomagnetic secular variation are investigated using the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model-eXtended (WACCM-X). Our ensemble simulations show that CO2 volume mixing ratios (VMRs) increase at high latitudes and decrease at mid and low latitudes by several ppmv in response to a 50% weakening of the geomagnetic field. Statistically significant changes in CO2 are mainly found above ~90 km altitude and primarily redetermine the energy budget at ~100–110 km. Our analysis of transformed Eulerian mean (TEM) circulation found that CO2 change is caused by enhanced upwelling at high latitudes and downwelling at mid and low latitudes as a result of increased Joule heating. We further analyzed the atmospheric CO2 response to realistic geomagnetic weakening between 1978 and 2013, and found increasing (decreasing) CO2 VMRs at high latitudes (mid and low latitudes) accordingly. For the first time, our simulation results demonstrate that the impact of geomagnetic variation on atmospheric CO2 distribution is noticeable on a time scale of decades.