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Is there a connection between Arctic sea ice and polar stratospheric temperature?

Arctic sea ice levels have declined significantly in the past few decades and this trend is expected to continue because of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Changes in sea ice alter the surface energy budget by changing the albedo and the heat fluxes between the atmosphere and ocean. These changes can influence the atmospheric circulation and thermodynamics. I will present the results from an Atmospheric General Circulation Model(AGCM) experiment in which the observed sea ice conditions from 1979-2009 were prescribed. All other forcings were kept constant to isolate the effect the sea ice has on the atmosphere. I will show that in addition to a warming at the surface, there is a significant cooling trend in the lower polar stratosphere during March. This could have important implications for ozone concentrations, especially in light of the discovery of a hole in the Arctic ozone layer last year. The model shows that the interannual variations of late winter/early spring polar stratospheric temperature is correlated with sea ice concentrations in certain lower latitude regions. I will show what might be the cause of this correlation by analyzing the wave activity flux from the troposphere to the stratosphere in the context of changes in sea ice.