The Atlantic Ocean plays a much larger role in controlling summer climate in Europe and North America than previously thought, say scientists in a paper published in the journal Science on 1 July 2005.
The scientists, from the NCAS Centre for Global Atmospheric Modelling in Reading, have shown that over the last 100 years several swings in the temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, each lasting decades at a time, have affected summer climate on both sides of the Atlantic.
Lead author Rowan Sutton said: ‘For the first time we have shown that changes in the Atlantic Ocean can actually drive the climate we experience either side of the Pond. By comparing observations with our results from state-of the-art climate models, we have shown that when the North Atlantic Ocean is warm, summers in the United States are warm and dry, and droughts more frequent. Conversely, when the ocean is cool, U.S. summers are cool and wet. The effects on European summers are more subtle but still important.’
Marion O’Sullivan | alfa
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