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Changes in Winter Temperature Extremes from Future Arctic Sea-Ice Loss and Ocean Warming
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  • Y. T. Eunice Lo,
  • Daniel M Mitchell,
  • Peter A. G. Watson,
  • James A Screen
Y. T. Eunice Lo
University of Bristol

Corresponding Author:eunice.lo@bristol.ac.uk

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Daniel M Mitchell
University of Bristol
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Peter A. G. Watson
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
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James A Screen
University of Exeter
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Observed rapid Arctic warming and sea-ice loss are likely to continue in the future, unless and after greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to net-zero. Here, we examine the possible effects of future sea-ice loss at 2°C global warming above pre-industrial levels on winter temperature extremes across the Northern Hemisphere, using coordinated experiments from the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project. 1-in-20-year cold extremes are simulated to become less severe at high- and mid-latitudes in response to Arctic sea-ice loss. 1-in-20-year winter warm extremes become warmer at northern high latitudes due to sea-ice loss, but warm by less than cold extremes. We compare the response to sea-ice loss to that from global SST change also at 2°C global warming. SST change causes less severe cold extremes and more severe warm extremes globally. Except northern high latitudes, the response to SST change is of larger magnitude than that to Arctic sea-ice loss.