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Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Temporal and spatial variability of SSTs in the tropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans

  • S. E. Nicholson
  • B. S. Nyenzi
Article

Summary

The objective of this study is to describe spatial and temporal patterns of sea-surface temperature (SST) variability in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The analysis domain extends from 40°S to 25°N and 50°W to 80°E, hence the tropical and most of the South Atlantic and central and western Indian Oceans. The investigation, covering the years 1948 to 1979, utilizes the COADS marine data set. Empirical orthogonal functions and spectral analysis are used to analyze SST fields.

A major finding of this investigation is that SSTs vary coherently throughout most of the analysis domain. The greatest coherence is evident from ∼10°N to 30°S in the Atlantic and from ∼20°N to 35°S in the western Indian Ocean. Spectral analysis of regional time series shows that throughout this region the time scale of 5–6 years is the dominant one in the fluctuations; this is also the case for the Southern Oscillation and for equatorial rainfall. SST variations are roughly in-phase within each ocean and the two oceans are roughly in-phase with each other, i.e., the lags which exist are much smaller than the dominant time scale of the fluctuations. The SST anomalies appear to propagate eastward from NE Brazil; the eastern Atlantic lags the western by two to six months and the Indian Ocean lags the western Atlantic by four to eight months.

Keywords

Climate Change Time Series Waste Water Coherence Water Pollution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. E. Nicholson
    • 1
  • B. S. Nyenzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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