AER Scientist's Paper Unveils Climate Prediction Potential of Eurasian Snow Cover

Cambridge, MA—Dr. Judah Cohen, a staff scientist at Cambridge-based Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. (AER), has recently co-authored a paper with M.I.T. Professor Dara Entekhabi about how the amount of snow cover over the land mass of Europe and Asia (Eurasia) in the fall may help predict winter climate in the eastern United States and in western Europe.

Entitled "Eurasian snow cover variability and Northern Hemisphere climate predictability," the paper concludes that the extent of snow cover over Eurasia in the fall contributes to the state of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)—a pattern of atmospheric behavior centered over the North Atlantic which has been shown to influence the climate in adjacent land regions. The more snow in Eurasia in the fall, the colder the winter season is likely to be in the Northern Hemisphere, increasing the degree of storminess over eastern North America and western and southern Europe. The paper was recently published in the February 1, 1999 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

The connection between Eurasian snow cover and wintertime weather over the eastern United States complements the better known El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), in which warm surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have been shown to impact weather and seasonal climate over the western and southern portions of the United States.

An expert in climate variability, Dr. Cohen has been conducting research on Eurasian snow cover since 1996. His research, as well as other seasonal climate research at AER, is coordinated through the company’s Climate Business Unit, established to serve client needs for seasonal climate information.

About AER:
Founded in 1977, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. is an award-winning environmental research and consulting company with demonstrated expertise in remote sensing, satellite meteorology, numerical weather prediction, climate dynamics and radiation, circulation diagnostics, atmospheric chemistry, air quality and risk assessment, planetary sciences, and systems engineering. In addition to its Cambridge, MA headquarters, AER has offices in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA; Hong Kong, and Beijing.


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