Sudden Stratospheric Warming in the Arctic and the Antarctic

Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) is the phenomenon of rapid rise in temperature in the stratosphere for a few days time. The SSW is the result of the planetary wave interactions on the polar vortex that weakens the vortex and eventually giving rise to a vortex split or a displacement of the vortex to mid latitudes. There are two major types of SSW, a major warming and minor warming. Major warming events are distingushed by the reversal of the westerly winds. The weaker nature of the Arctic vortex in comparison to Antarctic makes Arctic more vulnerbale to SSW events.

The SSWs are studied from the changes in the meteorology of the winters and the changes in the potential vorticity (PV). The vortex splits and displacements are identified using the PV maps. Apart from these the SSW events became significant in the polar latitudes due to its direct impact on the changes in ozone depletion cycles. The ozone loss amount in the years corresponding to both major and minor warming were significantly lower than the cold winters.


• Study the trends of SSW in both the hemispheres and offer a comparison.
• Analyse the resulting ozone loss in those particular winters.
• Assessment of the consequential impacts of the warming in upper atmosphere and the lower troposphere.


• SSW influences the surface weather, resulting in cold outbursts in the North American region and warming in other regions and several other changes.
• The co-influence of SSW on the ozone loss cycle is important in the global perspective.


• Kuttippurath,J., W. Feng, R. Müller, P. Kumar, S. Raj, G S Gopikrishnan, R. Roy (2021) : Artic on the verge of an ozone hole?, Atmos. Chem. Phy., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1313



• Roy, R and Kuttippurath, J.: The Sudden Stratospheric Warmings in the Arctic winters 2010/2011–2020/2021, International Symposium on Tropical Meteorology (INTROMET), November 23-26, 2021.

• Roy, R., Kuttippurath, J., D. Ardra., P. Kumar., S. Raj.: Polar processing and Chemical ozone loss in the Exceptional Arctic winters of 2011 and 2020, 7th National Conference of the Ocean Society of India (OSICON-21), August 12-14, 2021.

• Roy, R., Kuttippurath, J., F. Lefèvre., S. Raj., P. Kumar.: The Sudden Stratospheric Warming and polar processing of the Antarctic winter 2019: Comparison with the winters of 1988 and 2002, Quadrennial Ozone Symposium (QOS), October 03-09, 2021.