North Atlantic Oscillation

Welcome to this thematic web site which I started in August 1997. It aims to collect together useful information about this important climatic phenomenon. Please contact me if you have any comments or constructive remarks.

  • What is the NAO ?
    A large-scale mode of natural climate variability having large impacts on weather and climate in the North Atlantic region and surrounding continents.

  • Historical studies
    The NAO response in surface air temperature has been known about since at least 1770 (if not earlier !). Scientists have been studying it since the 1880s.

  • NAO indices
    The NAO can be characterised by various types of indices which all reveal that it has a broad band spectrum with no significant dominant periodicities (unlike ENSO!).

  • Model simulations
    Physically based climate models are capable of simulating many of the known features of the NAO and may be able to tell us how it might change in the future due to man-made emissions.

  • NAO forecasts
    Despite being a noisey extra-tropical phenomenon, there is some ability to forecast the NAO especially on longer decadal time scales.

  • Impacts of the NAO
    The NAO has strong impacts on weather and climate in the North Atlantic region and surrounding continents and is a dominant exogenous factor in many biological systems.

Time series of December-March NAO index courtesy of Dr. J. Hurrell at NCAR.


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