The Effect of Eurasian Snow Cover on Global Climate

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Science  29 Jan 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4839, pp. 504-507
DOI: 10.1126/science.239.4839.504


Numerical simulations with a global atmospheric circulation model suggest that largescale variations in the amount of snowfall over Eurasia in the springtime are linked to the subsequent strength of the Asian summer monsoon. Large-scale changes in Eurasian snow cover are coupled to larger scale changes in the global climate system. There is a large, strong teleconnection to the atmospheric field over North America. The model results also show snow cover effects to subsequently alter other climatic fields known to be intimately associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Thus the model results seem to challenge the current dogma that the ENSO phenomenon is solely the result of close coupling between the atmosphere and ocean by suggesting that processes over continental land masses may also have to be considered.

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