Observed connections of Arctic stratospheric ozone extremes to Northern Hemisphere surface climate

Diane J. Ivy, Susan Solomon, Natalia Calvo, David W. J. Thompson

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We present observational evidence for linkages between extreme Arctic stratospheric ozone anomalies in March and Northern Hemisphere tropospheric climate in spring (March–April). Springs characterized by low Arctic ozone anomalies in March are associated with a stronger, colder polar vortex and circulation anomalies consistent with the positive polarity of the Northern Annular Mode/North Atlantic Oscillation in March and April. The associated spring tropospheric circulation anomalies indicate a poleward shift of zonal winds at 500 hPa over the North Atlantic. Furthermore, correlations between March Arctic ozone and March–April surface temperatures reveal certain regions where a surprisingly large fraction of the interannual variability in spring surface temperatures is associated with interannual variability in ozone. We also find that years with low March Arctic ozone in the stratosphere display surface maximum daily temperatures in March–April that are colder than normal over southeastern Europe and southern Asia, but warmer than normal over northern Asia, adding to the warming from increasing well-mixed greenhouse gases in those locations. The results shown here do not establish causality, but nevertheless suggest that March stratospheric ozone is a useful indicator of spring averaged (March–April) tropospheric climate in certain Northern Hemispheric regions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024004
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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