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The stratospheric response to Arctic sea ice loss

Satellite observations have shown that Arctic sea ice levels are declining at an increasing rate. At the summer minimum in 2012, the Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent on record, at around half of the long term mean. A decrease in sea ice alters the surface energy budget by decreasing the surface albedo and changing the heat fluxes between the atmosphere and ocean. This is expected to have in impact on the atmospheric circulation. In this talk, I will present results from two different climate model experiments which show that Arctic sea ice loss is connected to the polar stratospheric circulation during the winter and spring. I will discuss the possible mechanisms and show that these results are consistent with observations and previous modeling studies.