• Major Stratospheric Warmings;
  • Climate change;
  • Stratospheric polar vortex;
  • ozone recovery

[1] Future changes in the occurrence rates of major stratospheric warmings (MSWs) have recently been identified in chemistry-climate model (CCM) simulations, but without reaching a consensus, potentially due to the competition of different forcings. We examine future variations in the occurrence rates of MSWs in transient and timeslice simulations of the ECHAM/MESSy atmospheric chemistry (EMAC) CCM, with a focus on the individual effect of different external factors. Although no statistically significant variation is found in the decadal-mean frequency of MSWs, a shift of their timing toward midwinter is detected in the future. The strengthening of the polar vortex in early winter is explained by recovering ozone levels following the future decrease in ozone-depleting substances. In midwinter, a stronger dynamical forcing associated with changes in tropical sea surface temperatures will lead to more MSWs, through a similar mechanism that explains the stratospheric response to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).