With this being a hot topic on the board right now (bad pun sorry) I discovered an interesting article offering an explanation from real scientists.
The article does a nice generic explanation, then gets alot more technical if you are so inclined. If you follow the climate change debate and have heard one side saying this is the result of the artic warming up from global warming, or another side saying the cold is evidence of a lack of warming, you'll be interested in hearing what they have to say on the topic specifically:
And what about climate change?
Although the AO/NAO/NAM rise and fall on many time scales, the wintertime values have slowly inched upward since the 1950s, as hinted at in the chart below. Global temperatures have also climbed during the same period. However, says Deser, “Just because the NAM has risen while global temperatures have risen does not mean that the latter causes the former."
In a 2009 Journal of Climate paper, Deser and NCAR’s Adam Phillips note that some model simulations of latter 20 th century climate reproduce the weak upward trend in the NAO. However, it’s not statistically significant compared to natural variability. Other studies that focus on 21st-century climate project a continued rise in the average NAO.
According to the Hurrell and Deser paper, “One of the most urgent challenges is to advance our understanding of the interaction between greenhouse gas forcing and the NAO.” Yet even if the AO/NAO/NAM continues trending upward in the long run, shorter-term ups and downs will continue to unfold—just as they’re doing this winter.
Nice to see an article that offers their analysis on what is going on without positioning on either side and avoiding the hype. So if you are debating climate change this winter, I hope you take the time to read this article.