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Publication Date
22 April 2017

Accelerated Increase in the Arctic Tropospheric Warming Events Surpassing Stratospheric Warming Events During Winter



In January 2016, a robust reversal of the Arctic Oscillation took place associated with a rapid tropospheric warming in the Arctic region; this was followed by the occurrence of a classic sudden stratospheric warming in March. The succession of these two distinct Arctic warming events provides a stimulating opportunity to examine their characteristics in terms of similarities and differences. Historical cases of these two types of Arctic warming were identified and validated based upon tropical linkages with the Madden-Julian Oscillation and El Niño as documented in previous studies. The analysis indicates a recent and seemingly accelerated increase in the tropospheric warming type versus a flat trend in stratospheric warming type. The shorter duration and more rapid transition of tropospheric warming events may connect to the documented increase in midlatitude weather extremes, more so than the route of stratospheric warming type. Forced simulations with an atmospheric general circulation model suggest that the reduced Arctic sea ice contributes to the observed increase in the tropospheric warming events and associated remarkable strengthening of the cold Siberian high manifest in 2016.

“Accelerated Increase In The Arctic Tropospheric Warming Events Surpassing Stratospheric Warming Events During Winter”. 2017. Geophysical Research Letters 44: 3806-3815. doi:10.1002/2017gl073012.
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