Geophysical Research Letters
  • Open Access

A robust mode of climate variability in the Arctic: The Barents Oscillation

Authors

  • Hans W. Chen,

    1. Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
    2. Formerly at Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Qiong Zhang,

    1. Formerly at Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Heiner Körnich,

    1. Formerly at Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
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  • Deliang Chen

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    • Corresponding author: D. Chen, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Guldhedsgatan 5A, Box 460, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. (deliang@gvc.gu.se)

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Abstract

[1] The Barents Oscillation (BO) is an anomalous wintertime atmospheric circulation pattern in the Northern Hemisphere that has been linked to the meridional flow over the Nordic Seas. There are speculations that the BO has important implications for the Arctic climate; however, it has also been suggested that the pattern is an artifact of Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis due to an eastward shift of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO). In this study, EOF analyses are performed to show that a robust pattern resembling the BO can be found during different time periods, even when the AO/NAO is relatively stationary. This “BO” has a high and stable temporal correlation with the geostrophic zonal wind over the Barents Sea, while the contribution from the AO/NAO is small. The surface air temperature anomalies over the Barents Sea are closely associated with this mode of climate variability.

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