A New Force in High-Latitude Climate

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 241-242
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.241

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


A pair of meteorologists is vying to show that the newly named Arctic Oscillation (AO), which alternately raises pressures over the pole and in a ring passing over southern Alaska and central Europe, is the prime mover of high-latitude climate shifts and may even be an agent of greenhouse-induced warming. They think the AO is a natural atmospheric response that can change minor perturbations into major climate shifts. Researchers are still analyzing many possible triggers for the AO, but whatever its cause, understanding it is going to help make sense out of high-latitude climate variability.