Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate
Article first published online: 22 OCT 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 20, October 2010
How to Cite
2010), Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L20704, doi:10.1029/2010GL044613., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 22 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 22 OCT 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 25 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Received: 7 JUL 2010
- cold extreme;
- atmospheric dynamics;
- wintertime climate
 The winter of 2009/2010 was characterized by record persistence of the negative phase of the North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which caused several severe cold spells over Northern and Western Europe. This somehow unusual winter with respect to the most recent ones arose concurrently with public debate on climate change, during and after the Copenhagen climate negotiations. We show however that the cold European temperature anomaly of winter 2010 was (i) not extreme relative to winters of the past six decades, and (ii) warmer than expected from its record-breaking seasonal circulation indices such as NAO or blocking frequency. Daily flow-analogues of winter 2010, taken in past winters, were associated with much colder temperatures. The winter 2010 thus provides a consistent picture of a regional cold event mitigated by long-term climate warming.