3 years ago

Weak stratospheric polar vortex events modulated by the Arctic sea ice loss

Kazuhira Hoshi, Jinro Ukita, Meiji Honda, Tetsu Nakamura, Koji Yamazaki, Yasunobu Miyoshi, Ralf Jaiser


We characterize the differences in the upward planetary‐scale wave propagation during observed weak polar vortex (WPV) events between heavy‐ and light‐sea‐ice years in the Barents–Kara Sea based on a composite analysis for the period of 1979–2015. Upward wave propagation during WPV events in heavy‐ice years is dominated by the wavenumber‐1 component. In contrast, WPV events occurring in light‐ice years are characterized by stronger wavenumber‐2 propagation, which is caused by the tropospheric wavenumber‐2 response to sea‐ice reduction in the Barents–Kara Sea. Above observed features are supported by an Atmospheric General Circulation Model experiment. Thus, under present climate conditions, Arctic sea‐ice loss is a possible factor modulating the wave propagation during the WPV events. We also find that the WPV events in light‐ice years have stronger stratosphere–troposphere coupling, followed by colder mid‐latitude surface conditions particularly over Eurasia.

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