National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2020

Divergent consensuses on Arctic amplification influence on midlatitude severe winter weather

Cohen, J., X. Zhang, J. Francis, T. Jung, R. Kwok, J. Overland, T.J. Ballinger, U.S. Bhatt, H.W. Chen, D. Coumou, S. Feldstein, H. Gu, D. Handorf, G. Henderson, M. Ionita, M. Kretschmer, F. Laliberte, S. Lee, H.W. Linderholm, W. Maslowski, Y. Peings, K. Pfeiffer, I. Rigor, T. Semmler, J. Stroeve, P.C. Taylor, S. Vavrus, T. Vihma, S. Wang, M. Wendisch, Y. Wu, and J. Yoon

Nature Clim. Change, 10, 20–29, doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0662-y, View online (2020)

The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average since the late twentieth century, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification (AA). Recently, there have been considerable advances in understanding the physical contributions to AA, and progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms that link it to midlatitude weather variability. Observational studies overwhelmingly support that AA is contributing to winter continental cooling. Although some model experiments support the observational evidence, most modelling results show little connection between AA and severe midlatitude weather or suggest the export of excess heating from the Arctic to lower latitudes. Divergent conclusions between model and observational studies, and even intramodel studies, continue to obfuscate a clear understanding of how AA is influencing midlatitude weather.

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