Welcome

Welcome to the research site of Dr. Stephen Bougher, research professor in the Univeristy of Michgan's Department of Atmostpheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences. At this website, we present recent model results that illustrate the thermal, compositional and dynamical responses of the upper atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars to solar EUV-UV flux variability making use of the Venus VTGCM, the Earth TIEGCM, and the Mars MTGCM three-dimensional models. Each of these models has been developed and exercised at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) using IBM/SP supercomputers.

Mars Reconaissance Orbiter

Current models runs relating to the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter can be found here. For more information on the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter and aerobraking please see NASA's mission page located here.

Overview

The comparative approach to planetary problems is becoming increasingly fruitful as new information from various planet atmospheres is assimilated. Recent studies have shown that substantial advances in understanding can be realized by investigating common processes as they apply in different planetary settings. The long-term objective of our research program in comparative terrestrial planetary thermospheres is to contrast and compare the physical and chemical processes responsible for the structure and dynamics of the thermospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars. This program of study is important to ourDevelopment of GM Models overall understanding of how these atmospheres are driven and how they change over time, both naturally and in the case of the Earth as a result of human influence. Our strategy involves modeling their characteristics and responses to different forcings by first using 1-D global mean heat balance and composition models [Bougher and Roble, 1991]. The present maturity of available planetary databases and modeling capabilities now permits us to extend this comparison of the thermospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars using well tested and individually validated 3-D general circulation models of these three planets [e.g. Bougher and Roble, 1997; Bougher et al. 1998a,b].

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by Brian Steers