Impacts of the NAO

The North Atlantic Oscillation has a large climatic influence on the North Atlantic ocean and surrounding land masses. It is a major controlling factor in basic meteorological variables such as surface wind, temperature and precipitation which have large socio-economic impacts on energy, agriculture, industry, traffic and human health throughout the whole of Europe and eastern North America.

Early in this century, scientists aware of the NAO also became interested in its socio-economic impacts (Meinardus, 1905). When more recently the NAO came into the focus of scientific work again, a number of studies considered the influence of this large scale variability pattern on local meteorological quantities such as seasonal mean precipitation, temperature and wind velocity (e.g. Wallace and Gutzler, 1981; Deser and Blackmon, 1993; Hurrell, 1995; Rogers, 1990; Malberg and Bökens, 1997; Ulbrich and Christof, 1999). Some of the previous studies on NAO socioeconomic and ecological impacts include:

  • Hurrell, J.W., 1995: Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation and relationships to regional temperature and precipitation. Science 269, 676-679.
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