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Title: Weakening of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex by Arctic Sea-Ice Loss

Abstract

Successive cold winters of severely low temperatures in recent years have had critical social and economic impacts on the mid-latitude continents in the Northern Hemisphere. Although these cold winters are thought to be partly driven by dramatic losses of Arctic sea ice, the mechanism that links sea ice loss to cold winters remains a subject of debate. Here, by conducting observational analyses and model experiments, we show how Arctic sea ice loss and cold winters in extra-polar regions are dynamically connected through the polar stratosphere. We find that decreased sea ice cover during early winter months (November-December), especially over the Barents-Kara seas, enhance the upward propagation of planetary-scale waves with wavenumbers of 1 and 2, subsequently weakening the stratospheric polar vortex in mid-winter (January- February). The weakened polar vortex preferentially induces a negative phase of Arctic Oscillation at the surface, resulting in low temperatures in mid-latitudes.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1163810
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-104397
KP1703020
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Communications, 5:Article No. 4646
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nature Communications, 5:Article No. 4646
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
stratospheric; polar vortex; Arctic Sea; ice loss

Citation Formats

Kim, Baek-Min, Son, Seok-Woo, Min, Seung-Ki, Jeong, Jee-Hoon, Kim, Seong-Joong, Zhang, Xiangdong, Shim, Taehyoun, and Yoon, Jin-Ho. Weakening of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex by Arctic Sea-Ice Loss. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms5646.
Kim, Baek-Min, Son, Seok-Woo, Min, Seung-Ki, Jeong, Jee-Hoon, Kim, Seong-Joong, Zhang, Xiangdong, Shim, Taehyoun, & Yoon, Jin-Ho. Weakening of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex by Arctic Sea-Ice Loss. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms5646.
Kim, Baek-Min, Son, Seok-Woo, Min, Seung-Ki, Jeong, Jee-Hoon, Kim, Seong-Joong, Zhang, Xiangdong, Shim, Taehyoun, and Yoon, Jin-Ho. Tue . "Weakening of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex by Arctic Sea-Ice Loss". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms5646.
@article{osti_1163810,
title = {Weakening of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex by Arctic Sea-Ice Loss},
author = {Kim, Baek-Min and Son, Seok-Woo and Min, Seung-Ki and Jeong, Jee-Hoon and Kim, Seong-Joong and Zhang, Xiangdong and Shim, Taehyoun and Yoon, Jin-Ho},
abstractNote = {Successive cold winters of severely low temperatures in recent years have had critical social and economic impacts on the mid-latitude continents in the Northern Hemisphere. Although these cold winters are thought to be partly driven by dramatic losses of Arctic sea ice, the mechanism that links sea ice loss to cold winters remains a subject of debate. Here, by conducting observational analyses and model experiments, we show how Arctic sea ice loss and cold winters in extra-polar regions are dynamically connected through the polar stratosphere. We find that decreased sea ice cover during early winter months (November-December), especially over the Barents-Kara seas, enhance the upward propagation of planetary-scale waves with wavenumbers of 1 and 2, subsequently weakening the stratospheric polar vortex in mid-winter (January- February). The weakened polar vortex preferentially induces a negative phase of Arctic Oscillation at the surface, resulting in low temperatures in mid-latitudes.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms5646},
journal = {Nature Communications, 5:Article No. 4646},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {9}
}