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AO/NAO Response to Climate ChangeWe utilize the GISS Global Climate Middle Atmosphere Model and 8 different climate change experiments, many of them focused on stratospheric climate forcings, to assess the relative influence of tropospheric and stratospheric climate change on the extratropical circulation indices (Arctic Oscillation, AO; North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO). The experiments are run in two different ways: with variable sea surface temperatures (SSTs) to allow for a full tropospheric climate response, and with specified SSTs to minimize the tropospheric change. The results show that tropospheric warming (cooling) experiments and stratospheric cooling (warming) experiments produce more positive (negative) AO/NAO indices. For the typical magnitudes of tropospheric and stratospheric climate changes, the tropospheric response dominates; results are strongest when the tropospheric and stratospheric influences are producing similar phase changes. Both regions produce their effect primarily by altering wave propagation and angular momentum transports, but planetary wave energy changes accompanying tropospheric climate change are also important. Stratospheric forcing has a larger impact on the NAO than on the AO, and the angular momentum transport changes associated with it peak in the upper troposphere, affecting all wavenumbers. Tropospheric climate changes influence both the A0 and NAO with effects that extend throughout the troposphere. For both forcings there is often vertical consistency in the sign of the momentum transport changes, obscuring the difference between direct and indirect mechanisms for influencing the surface circulation.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Rind, D.
(NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY, United States)
Perlwitz, J.
(NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY, United States)
Lonergan, P.
(NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
June 21, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 110
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

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