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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Synchrony in relationships between the North Atlantic Oscillation and water chemistry among Sweden's largest lakes

Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer


The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is commonly presented as an easy and reliable index that can be used to study climatic effects on aquatic ecosystems. Here, the NAO winter index (NAO(w)) was applied to determine effects of winter climate changes on 13 water chemical variables measured monthly at 16 sites in Sweden's three largest lakes (Vanern, Vattern, and Malaren). The NAO(w) strongly affected meteorological, physical, and consequently also chemical conditions. Significant relationships were numerous in Sweden's three largest lakes, but they exhibited little agreement among lakes and even across a lake. Synchronous relationships between the NAO(w) and water chemistry among lake sites were restricted to variables closely linked to surface-water temperature (i.e., reactive silica and pH in May). The weaker the association of a lake variable with water temperature, the weaker the mean NAO(w) signal on the variable over the 16 lake sites. The results of this study might facilitate the prediction of lake ecosystem responses to future changes in the weather over a large region.

Published in

Limnology and Oceanography
2004, volume: 49, number: 4, pages: 1191-1201

Authors' information

Weyhenmeyer, Gesa
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Environmental Assessment

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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