May 28, 2019

The role of stratospheric ozone for Arctic-midlatitude linkages

Erik Romanowsky, Dörthe Handorf, Ralf Jaiser, Ingo Wohltmann, Wolfgang Dorn, Jinro Ukita, Judah Cohen, Klaus Dethloff, Markus Rex
Scientific Reports
  • States that:
    • 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
  • Surmises that 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
  • Models the atmospheric response to a prescribed decline in Arctic sea ice in order to 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