Divergent consensuses on Arctic amplification influence on midlatitude severe winter weather

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average since the late twentieth century, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification (AA). Recently, there have been considerable advances in understanding the physical contributions to AA, and progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms that link it to midlatitude weather variability. Observational studies overwhelmingly support that AA is contributing to winter continental cooling. Although some model experiments support the observational evidence, most modelling results show little connection between AA and severe midlatitude weather or suggest the export of excess heating from the Arctic to lower latitudes. Divergent conclusions between model and observational studies, and even intramodel studies, continue to obfuscate a clear understanding of how AA is influencing midlatitude weather.


  • J. Cohen
  • X. Zhang
  • J. Francis
  • T. Jung
  • R. Kwok
  • J. Overland
  • T. J. Ballinger
  • U. S. Bhatt
  • D. Coumou
  • S. Feldstein
  • H. Gu
  • D. Handorf
  • G. Henderson
  • M. Ionita
  • M. Kretschmer
  • F. Laliberte
  • S. Lee
  • H. W. Linderholm
  • W. Maslowski
  • Y. Peings
  • K. Pfeiffer
  • I. Rigor
  • T. Semmler
  • J. Stroeve
  • P. C. Taylor
  • S. Vavrus
  • T. Vihma
  • S. Wang
  • M. Wendisch
  • Y. Wu
  • J. Yoon
External organisations
  • Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Alfred-Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven
  • University of Bremen
  • California Institute of Technology
  • NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL)
  • Texas State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Utah State University
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Environment Canada
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Cambridge
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Washington
  • University College London
  • NASA Langley Research Center
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • Leipzig University
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Climate Research
  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalNature Climate Change
Early online date2019 Dec 23
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan
Publication categoryResearch