Main content area

Characteristics of stratospheric polar vortex fluctuations associated with sea ice variability in the Arctic winter

Kim, Jinju, Kim, Kwang-Yul
Climate dynamics 2020 v.54 no.7-8 pp. 3599-3611
climate, climate change, ice cover, sea ice, stratosphere, winter, Arctic Ocean, Arctic region, Eurasia, Europe, Greenland, Hudson Bay, Kara Sea
The leading two modes of winter (November–February) Arctic sea ice cover variability and their linkage to stratospheric polar vortex variations are analyzed based on the cyclostationary EOF techniques. The first mode represents an accelerating trend of Arctic sea ice decline associated with Arctic amplification, particularly in the Barents and Kara Seas. The second mode is associated with decadal-scale phase shifts of dipole sea ice anomalies in the North Atlantic caused by NAO circulation. The first two modes of sea ice variability represent respectively a forced climate change and internal variability, and result in temporally and spatially distinct stratospheric polar vortex weakening. Sea ice reduction in the Barents and Kara Seas for the first mode is linked to a stratospheric vortex weakening during mid January–late February. The second mode with the dipole structure of positive sea ice anomalies in the Barents and Greenland Seas and negative anomalies in the Hudson Bay and Labrador Sea is related to a stratospheric vortex weakening during December–early February. The spatial evolutionary structure of anomalous polar vortex also exhibits differences between the two modes. When stratospheric anomalies are fully developed, stratospheric vortex is shifted to Eurasia in the first mode and to Europe in the second mode.