The stratospheric pathway for Arctic impacts on midlatitude climate

Tetsu Nakamura, Koji Yamazaki, Katsushi Iwamoto, Meiji Honda, Yasunobu Miyoshi, Yasunobu Ogawa, Yoshihiro Tomikawa, Jinro Ukita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Recent evidence from both observations and model simulations suggests that an Arctic sea ice reduction tends to cause a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) phase with severe winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere, which is often preceded by weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex. Although this evidence hints at a stratospheric involvement in the Arctic-midlatitude climate linkage, the exact role of the stratosphere remains elusive. Here we show that tropospheric AO response to the Arctic sea ice reduction largely disappears when suppressing the stratospheric wave mean flow interactions in numerical experiments. The results confirm a crucial role of the stratosphere in the sea ice impacts on the midlatitudes by coupling between the stratospheric polar vortex and planetary-scale waves. Those results and consistency with observation-based evidence suggest that a recent Arctic sea ice loss is linked to midlatitudes extreme weather events associated with the negative AO phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3494-3501
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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