- Top of page
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Global Model Set Up
- 3. Sea Ice Cover and Atmospheric Adjustment
- 4. Summary and Conclusions
 By means of unforced simulations with a global coupled circulation model it is shown that naturally occurring changes between high and low sea ice cover phases of the Arctic Ocean exert a strong influence on the Northern Hemisphere storm tracks. This work emphasizes the nonlinear dynamical feedback between Arctic sea ice cover and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) such as atmospheric response depending upon the wintertime sea ice distribution. Two seven year long time slices, with high and low sea ice cover, were analyzed with respect to the feedbacks between the time-mean flow, the quasi-stationary planetary and the baroclinic waves. The wave energy fluxes on time scales of 2 to 6 days increase in the middle troposphere between 30 and 60°N during the high sea ice phase and increase the zonal wind. This increase is compensated by a strong reduction in the Eliassen-Palm fluxes on time scales from 10 to 90 days between 60 and 70°N during high sea ice phases, accompanied by reduced zonal winds. High sea ice cover phases are related to the zonal wind changes during the positive phases of the AO, especially over the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.