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The effects of different sudden stratospheric warming types on the ocean

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Sudden stratospheric warmings are a phenomenon that greatly disturb the Northern Hemisphere winter polar vortex. These events occur roughly once every two years and are typically diagnosed by a reversal of the climatological westerly flow and a strong warming in the stratospheric polar vortex. These events are dynamically interesting in their own right but can also manifest an increased stratosphere-troposphere coupling which can impact the surface climate for several weeks to months. Here an intermediate general circulation model is used to assess the surface impacts following different types of sudden stratospheric warmings and their effect on the ocean system. This research confirms the remarkable fact that the stratosphere, and in particular sudden stratospheric warmings, possess the ability to effect the ocean system and highlights that different SSW types need to be simulated in coupled stratospheric/tropospheric/ocean models.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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