• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

The north atlantic oscillation (nao) refers to a large-scale oscillation of atmospheric mass observed across the North Atlantic Ocean. The NAO was first identified in the 1920s by Sir Gilbert Walker. This oscillation is between the two prominent North Atlantic pressure centers: the Azores high, centered in the North Atlantic, and the Icelandic Low, centered between Greenland and Iceland.

It is now firmly established that fluctuations in the NAO influence weather and climate variations around the world, especially in the North Atlantic region. The NAO is a major controlling factor in basic meteorological variables such as surface wind, temperature, and precipitation, which have large socioeconomic impacts on energy, agriculture, industry, and human health across Europe and eastern North America. Changes in the NAO also significantly impact ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles