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Non-annular atmospheric circulation change induced by stratospheric ozone depletion and its role in the recent increase of Antarctic sea ice extent

Turner, John; Comiso, Josefino C.; Marshall, Gareth J.; Lachlan-Cope, Tom A.; Bracegirdle, Toms; Maksym, Ted; Meredith, Michael P.; Wang, Zhaomin; Orr, Andrew. 2009 Non-annular atmospheric circulation change induced by stratospheric ozone depletion and its role in the recent increase of Antarctic sea ice extent. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (8), L08502. 5, pp. 10.1029/2009GL037524

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Abstract/Summary

Based on a new analysis of passive microwave satellite data, we demonstrate that the annual mean extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a statistically significant rate of 0.97% dec−1 since the late 1970s. The largest increase has been in autumn when there has been a dipole of significant positive and negative trends in the Ross and Amundsen‐Bellingshausen Seas respectively. The autumn increase in the Ross Sea sector is primarily a result of stronger cyclonic atmospheric flow over the Amundsen Sea. Model experiments suggest that the trend towards stronger cyclonic circulation is mainly a result of stratospheric ozone depletion, which has strengthened autumn wind speeds around the continent, deepening the Amundsen Sea Low through flow separation around the high coastal orography. However, statistics derived from a climate model control run suggest that the observed sea ice increase might still be within the range of natural climate variability.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2009GL037524
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Antarctic Climate and the Earth System
ISSN: 0094-8276
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 07 Sep 2009 16:31
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/8058

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