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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cold Blamed on North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

I found a piece on TerraDaily which has European meteorologists describing how the NAO is responsible for the recent cold snap in North America, Europe, Northern China and parts of Northeast Asia. As can be found in any explanation of the NAO, these cold snaps are associated with the negative phase of the teleconnection. NOAA's data on this phase concurs that we have indeed been in a negative phase since around the end of November.

This is a good example of a phenomena mentioned in my recent post "Local Cooling, Global warming." For one, other parts of the world have still been experiencing record heat, as the article points out, sections of North Africa and the Mediterranean have been warm.

This also is an example of how temporal patterns (even those in periods of years) could be decieving when it comes to whether or not the atmosphere overall is experiencing warming . This is especially true when we have patterns that affect the northern hemisphere differently than the southern. This is because we have so much more land in the north and land has a much lower specific heat than water.

TerraDaily article:http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Despite_icy_weather_overall_trend_is_warmer_experts_999.html
NOAA NOA data: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao_index_mrf.shtml

1 comment:

NeelyBittle said...
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