The North Atlantic Oscillation

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Science  26 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5504, pp. 603-605
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058761

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The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) dictates climate variability from the eastern seaboard of the United States to Siberia and from the Arctic to the subtropical Atlantic, especially during winter. It strongly affects agricultural yields, water management, fish inventories, and terrestrial ecology. In their Perspective, Hurrell, Kushnir, and Visbeck report recent research into the NAO discussed at an American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference at the end of 2000. Much remains to be learned about the NAO, but it seems increasingly less likely that natural variability is the cause for the recent upward NAO trend.