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A suite of GCMs with THOR

Presentation #200.09 in the session Exoplanet Atmospheres: Giant Planets (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
A suite of GCMs with THOR

Global circulation models (GCMs) are three-dimensional fluid dynamics solvers used to simulate the atmospheres of exoplanets. This study builds upon the work of Perna et al. (2012) and utilizes the non-hydrostatic THOR dynamical core, as introduced and developed in a series of papers by Mendonça et al. (2016, 2018a-c), Deitrick et al. (2020, 2022), and Noti et al. (2023). Our research involves the production of a sequence of 8 hot Jupiter GCMs, ranging from HD 189733b to WASP-121b.

We conduct a detailed study of the flow transition from zonally-dominated to global substellar-to-antistellar flow, as proposed by Showman et al. (2013). Additionally, we explore the less-studied transition from regular hot Jupiters, with atmospheres dominated by molecular hydrogen, to ultra-hot Jupiters, where dayside atmospheres are dominated by atomic hydrogen. Our approach includes an analysis of the behaviour of Kelvin and Rossby waves, as suggested by Showman et al. (2013). We compare GCMs using different radiative transfer techniques, including picket-fence, two-stream, and an improved two-stream method that accurately treats aerosol scattering.

WASP-43b serves as a focused case study due to previous studies of this object in varying radiative transfer and chemistry settings in the aforementioned THOR papers, and its status as a benchmark object for HST and JWST observations. We also examine the role of numerical dissipation in determining the outcomes of this suite of GCMs, and the extent to which different quantities, such as mass and momentum, are conserved. Opportunities for future work are discussed.

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