Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets (2019) https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JE006480

Jimmy Bouche, Pierre-François Coheur, Marco Giuranna, Paulina Wolkenberg, Luca Nardi, Marilena Amoroso, Ann Carine Vandaele, Frank Daerden, Lori Neary, and Sophie Bauduin

A subset of more than 100,000 nadir measurements covering more than 7 Martian years (MY 26–MY 33) recorded in the thermal part of the Short Wavelength Channel (SWC) from the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) on board Mars Express is exploited to investigate the global distribution and the seasonal cycle of carbon monoxide (CO) on Mars. The retrieval of CO vertical profiles is successfully achieved using a methodology based on the optimal estimation but the low information content is such that we mainly discuss the variability in CO in terms of integrated columns (from the surface to 24 km) or the associated column-averaged mixing ratio. We find a strong seasonality in CO, especially at mid and high-latitudes, which confirms earlier work and the current knowledge of the CO2 condensation/ sublimation cycles, as implemented for instance in the Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) general circulation model for Mars, that we use as a basis for comparison. We report a general consistency between model and observation, with a tendency of the latter to provide lower CO volume mixing ratios (VMRs), except at low latitudes. The spatial distribution of the CO column-averaged VMR is obtained on a seasonal basis and investigated in terms of large-scale patterns but also local peculiarities. Finally, we show that the retrieved profiles systematically present strong CO vertical gradients close to the surface in mid- and equatorial latitudes, likely related to the vertical sensitivity of PFS rather than real near-surface CO enrichment.

Geophysical Research Letters (2020) https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL084354

L. Neary , F. Daerden , S. Aoki , J. Whiteway , R. T. Clancy , M. Smith , S. Viscardy , J.T. Erwin, I. R. Thomas, G. Villanueva, G. Liuzzi , M. Crismani, M. Wolff, S. R. Lewis, J. A. Holmes, M. R. Patel, M. Giuranna, C. Depiesse, A. Piccialli, S. Robert, L. Trompet, Y. Willame, B. Ristic, and A. C. Vandaele

The Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) instrument on board ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter measured a large increase in water vapor at altitudes in the range of 40–100 km during the 2018 global dust storm on Mars. Using a three‐dimensional general circulation model, we examine the mechanism responsible for the enhancement of water vapor in the upper atmosphere. Experiments with different prescribed vertical profiles of dust show that when more dust is present higher in the atmosphere, the temperature increases, and the amount of water ascending over the tropics is not limited by saturation until reaching heights of 70–100 km. The warmer temperatures allow more water to ascend to the mesosphere. Photochemical simulations show a strong increase in high‐altitude atomic hydrogen following the high‐altitude water vapor increase by a few days.

Icarus (2019) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.02.030

Frank Daerden, Lori Neary, S. Viscardy, A. García Muñoz, R.T. Clancy, M. D. Smith, T. Encrenaz, A. Fedorova

General Circulation Models with interactive physical and chemistry processes are the state-of-the-art tools for an integrated view and understanding of the Martian atmosphere and climate system. The GEM-Mars model currently includes 16 tracers for chemical composition and applies a fully online, interactive calculation of the photo- and gas phase chemistry of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O). These species largely control the chemical composition of the neutral Mars atmosphere through their photolysis products and their subsequent interactions. Water vapor undergoes a complex cycle on Mars as it is transported and interacts with ice reservoirs both at the planet's surface and at water ice clouds, which in turn provide radiative feedbacks. In the photochemical cycles involving CO2 and H2O, the abundances of 5 species have been reported by previous investigations with significant spatio-temporal coverage: CO2, H2O, CO, O3 and H2O2. This paper presents the current status of the atmospheric chemistry simulations in GEM-Mars by comparing them to a selection of these observational datasets as well as to oxygen dayglow emission from O2(a1∆g). The results are consistent with previous model-data comparisons and illustrate that the water cycle and the photochemistry are well implemented in the model. In particular, the simulation of the key reservoir species H2O2 provides a good match to the available data. Model-data biases for ozone columns and oxygen airglow are related to the simulated water vapor vertical profile, as these species have important column contributions from vertical layers at the top of the hygropause.

Figure 3 Vertical profiles ofthe vmr of the simulated species in the model at northern hemisphere summer solstice, at Latitude 40, Longitude 0, local time is noon.

Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019) https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201935300

T. Encrenaz, T. K. Greathouse, S. Aoki, F. Daerden, M. Giuranna, F. Forget, F. Lefèvre, F. Montmessin, T. Fouchet, B. Bézard, S. K. Atreya, C. DeWitt, M. J. Richter, L. Neary and S. Viscardy

We pursued our ground-based seasonal monitoring of hydrogen peroxide on Mars using thermal imaging spectroscopy, with two observations of the planet near opposition, in May 2016 (solar longitude Ls = 148.5°, diameter = 17 arcsec) and July 2018 (Ls = 209°, diameter = 23 arcsec). Data were recorded in the 1232–1242 cm−1 range (8.1 μm) with the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph (TEXES) mounted at the 3 m Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) at the Mauna Kea Observatories. As in the case of our previous analyses, maps of H2O2 were obtained using line depth ratios of weak transitions of H2O2 divided by a weak CO2 line. The H2O2 map of April 2016 shows a strong dichotomy between the northern and southern hemispheres, with a mean volume mixing ratio of 45 ppbv on the north side and less than 10 ppbv on the south side; this dichotomy was expected by the photochemical models developed in the LMD Mars Global Climate Model (LMD-MGCM) and with the recently developed Global Environmental Multiscale Mars (GEM-Mars) model. The second measurement (July 2018) was taken in the middle of the MY 34 global dust storm. H2O2 was not detected with a disk-integrated 2σ upper limit of 10 ppbv, while both the LMD-MGCM and the GEM-Mars models predicted a value above 20 ppbv (also observed by TEXES in 2003) in the absence of dust storm. This depletion is probably the result of the high dust content in the atmosphere at the time of our observations, which led to a decrease in the water vapor column density, as observed by the PFS during the global dust storm. GCM simulations using the GEM model show that the H2O depletion leads to a drop in H2O2, due to the lack of HO2 radicals. Our result brings a new constraint on the photochemistry of H2O2 in the presence of a high dust content. In parallel, we reprocessed the whole TEXES dataset of H2O2 measurements using the latest version of the GEISA database (GEISA 2015). We recently found that there is a significant difference in the H2O2 line strengths between the 2003 and 2015 versions of GEISA. Therefore, all H2O2 volume mixing ratios up to 2014 from TEXES measurements must be reduced by a factor of 1.75. As a consequence, in four cases (Ls around 80°, 100°, 150°, and 209°) the abundances show contradictory values between different Martian years. At Ls = 209° the cause seems to be the increased dust content associated with the global dust storm. The inter-annual variability in the three other cases remains unexplained at this time.

Icarus (2018) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.028

Lori Neary and Frank Daerden

GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1g)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support of the NOMAD mission.

Figure 8 Comparison of zonal mean vertical temperature profiles from MCS (top) and GEM-Mars (bottom). The columns are four seasons, Ls 0–30°, 90–120°, 180–210° and 270–300°