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Conductance Model for Extreme Events : Impact of Auroral Conductance on Space Weather Forecasts
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  • Agnit Mukhopadhyay,
  • Daniel T Welling,
  • Michael W. Liemohn,
  • Aaron J. Ridley,
  • Shibaji Chakraborty,
  • Brian J. Anderson
Agnit Mukhopadhyay
University of Michigan, University of Michigan

Corresponding Author:agnitm@umich.edu

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Daniel T Welling
University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Arlington
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Michael W. Liemohn
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Aaron J. Ridley
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Shibaji Chakraborty
Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech
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Brian J. Anderson
John Hopkins Univ., John Hopkins Univ.
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Ionospheric conductance is a crucial factor in accurately estimating the closure of magnetospheric currents in the ionosphere. Despite its importance in predictive investigations of the magnetosphere - ionosphere coupling, the estimation of ionospheric conductance in the auroral region is precarious in most global first-principles based models. This impreciseness in estimating this auroral conductance impedes both our understanding of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system during extreme space weather events, and predictive capabilities of ground-based magnetic perturbations during extreme driving which generate geomagnetically induced currents. In this article, we address this concern, with the development of an advanced Conductance Model for Extreme Events (CMEE) that estimates the auroral conductance from field aligned current values. CMEE has been developed using nonlinear regression over a year’s worth of one-minute resolution output from assimilative maps, specifically including times of extreme driving of the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere system. The model also includes provisions to enhance the conductance in the aurora using additional adjustments to refine the auroral oval. CMEE has been incorporated within the Ridley Ionosphere Model (RIM) of the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) for usage in space weather simulations. This paper compares performance of CMEE against the existing conductance model in RIM, through a validation process for six space weather events. The performance analysis indicates overall improvement in the ionospheric feedback to the magnetosphere. Specifically, the model is able to improve the prediction of ionospheric currents which impact the simulated and , resulting in substantial improvements in predictive skill.
Nov 2020Published in Space Weather volume 18 issue 11. 10.1029/2020SW002551