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Sci Rep. 2019 May 28;9(1):7962. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43823-1.

The role of stratospheric ozone for Arctic-midlatitude linkages.

Author information

1
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Atmospheric Physics, Potsdam, 14473, Germany. erik.romanowsky@awi.de.
2
University of Potsdam, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, Potsdam, 14476, Germany. erik.romanowsky@awi.de.
3
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Atmospheric Physics, Potsdam, 14473, Germany.
4
Niigata University, Faculty of Science, Niigata, 950-2181, Japan.
5
Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Lexington, MA, 02421, USA.
6
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Enviromental Engineering, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
7
University of Potsdam, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, Potsdam, 14476, Germany.

Abstract

Arctic warming was more pronounced than warming in midlatitudes in the last decades making this region a hotspot of climate change. Associated with this, a rapid decline of sea-ice extent and a decrease of its thickness has been observed. Sea-ice retreat allows for an increased transport of heat and momentum from the ocean up to the tropo- and stratosphere by enhanced upward propagation of planetary-scale atmospheric waves. In the upper atmosphere, these waves deposit the momentum transported, disturbing the stratospheric polar vortex, which can lead to a breakdown of this circulation with the potential to also significantly impact the troposphere in mid- to late-winter and early spring. Therefore, an accurate representation of stratospheric processes in climate models is necessary to improve the understanding of the impact of retreating sea ice on the atmospheric circulation. By modeling the atmospheric response to a prescribed decline in Arctic sea ice, we show that including interactive stratospheric ozone chemistry in atmospheric model calculations leads to an improvement in tropo-stratospheric interactions compared to simulations without interactive chemistry. This suggests that stratospheric ozone chemistry is important for the understanding of sea ice related impacts on atmospheric dynamics.

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