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A stratospheric link between sea ice variability and European weather

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The rapid decline of ice cover in the Arctic has instilled great interest in the atmospheric community. Recent results suggest that sea ice loss in the Barents and Kara seas (B-K) in autumn and early winter cause a weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex in the subsequent months. The lowering of the intensity of the polar vortex is one of the key aspects of the well known Arctic Amplification, i.e. the faster warming of the Arctic compared to the rest of the world. The interaction of the polar vortex with other features of the atmospheric circulation can potentially extend the link to other regions in the troposphere, expanding the spatial scale of the impact. A mechanism regarding the troposphere-stratosphere interaction in the context of sea ice is analysed in this talk, with a focus on the Euro-Atlantic sector. Results based on 18 years of reanalyses from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts are shown and compared with a simulation with a simplified Atmospheric General Circulation Model provided by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics. A potential link, on an intra-seasonal time scale, between sea ice variability in B-K and the circulation over the North Atlantic sector is discussed.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics series.

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