Current Climate Change Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 238–249 | Cite as

The Influence of Arctic Amplification on Mid-latitude Weather and Climate

  • Stephen J. Vavrus
Arctic Climate Change (Mark Serreze, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Arctic Climate Change


Purpose of Review

The rapidly warming Arctic climate may affect weather in middle latitudes, but controversies remain as to mechanisms and robustness. Here, I synthesize recent advances in this rapidly changing field and summarize recommendations on paths forward.

Recent Findings

Initial “black-and-white” debates about whether Arctic amplification (AA) affects mid-latitude circulation have evolved toward a more nuanced perspective awash in gray. Recent research has demonstrated myriad ways in which AA can influence weather remotely and explored whether any Arctic-based signal is significant against the backdrop of natural variability.


The popularity of and controversies surrounding this topic have spurred a multitude of approaches and often-conflicting studies that have widened the envelope of our understanding but hindered a scientific consensus. This messy but necessary exploratory phase of independent investigations is benefiting from recent efforts by the research community to self-organize through workshops, working groups, and coordinated experiments.


Arctic amplification Extreme weather Teleconnection Middle latitudes Atmospheric circulation Polar vortex 



The author thanks Jennifer Francis for her constructive feedback in informally reviewing this paper.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant PLR-1304398 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant NA15OAR4310166.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author states that there is no conflict of interest.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nelson Institute Center for Climatic ResearchUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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