L2.1 What's Happening over the Poles? (Invited Presentation)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 1:30 PM
La Nouvelle C ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
John Marshall, MIT, Cambridge, MA

In recent decades, the Arctic has been warming and sea ice disappearing. By contrast, the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been (mainly) cooling and sea-ice extent growing. We argue here that inter-hemispheric asymmetries in the mean ocean circulation, with sinking in the northern North Atlantic and upwelling around Antarctica, strongly influence the sea-surface temperature (SST) response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing, accelerating warming in the Arctic while delaying it in the Antarctic. Furthermore, while the amplitude of GHG forcing has been similar at the poles, significant ozone depletion only occurs over Antarctica. We suggest that the initial response of SST around Antarctica to ozone depletion is one of cooling and only later adds to the GHG-induced warming trend as upwelling of sub-surface warm water associated with stronger surface westerlies impacts surface properties.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner