• Arctic Oscillation;
  • ENSO;
  • Arctic sea ice cover;
  • interannual variability


The Arctic Oscillation (AO) and ENSO have dominant influences on the extratropical and tropical climate variabilities in the Northern Hemisphere, respectively. In this paper, we document a strengthening of the AO–ENSO relationship in January after the mid-1990s, when the interannual variability of the previous September Arctic sea ice cover (ASIC) had consistently increased, by analyzing the AO, ENSO, and associated atmosphere–ocean variability. Our analysis further suggests that the larger ASIC interannual variability may account for the larger scale wave train across the Pacific basin, and the AO is strongly coupled to the circulation in the North Pacific. The strengthened connection between the −AO and Aleutian Low (AL) may contribute to the identified closer relationship between the −AO and ENSO.