Natural Variation: Warm North Atlantic Ocean promotes extreme winters in U.S. and Europe

According to a new study done by the University of California Irvine have shown that a phenomenon known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) which is a natural pattern of variation in the North Atlantic sea surface temperatures that switches between a positive and negative phase every 60-70 years can affect an atmospheric circulation pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that handles the precipitation and temperature in the Northern Hemisphere during winter time. During winter time, AMO is in its positive phase making North Atlantic oceans warmer, which promotes the negative phase of NAO, which makes it cold in the U.S. and Europe. The AMO has been in a postitive stages since the 1990’s, causing the extreme winters of recent years. The melting of ice caps and concentrations of greenhouse gases may be changing the AMO, because they have noticed that the AMO was weak last year, and so it turned more positive than negative, which led a mild winter in Europe. More studies will be done to prove this further.

– Sean Sabogal –

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