• Arctic climate;
  • Arctic storms;
  • climate change

[1] Dramatic changes have been observed in Arctic sea ice, cyclone behavior and atmospheric circulation in recent decades. Decreases in September ice extent have been remarkable over the last 30 years, and particularly so in very recent times. The analysis reveals that the trends and variability in September ice coverage and mean cyclone characteristics are related, and that the strength (rather than the number) of cyclones in the Arctic basin is playing a central role in the changes observed in that region, especially in the last few years. The findings reinforce suggestions that the decline in the extent and thickness of Arctic ice has started to render it particularly vulnerable to future anomalous cyclonic activity and atmospheric forcing.