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Oceanic Regulation of the Atmospheric Walker Circulation

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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A coupled theory is proposed to account for the magnitude of the Walker circulation in the tropical Pacific. It is suggested that the Pacific Walker circulation is at a saturation state, at which the zonal sea surface temperature difference is bounded by about a quarter of the latitudinal difference of the radiative–convective equilibrium sea surface temperature.

Corresponding author address: Z. Liu, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706-1695. E-mail: znl@ocean.meteor.wisc.edu

A coupled theory is proposed to account for the magnitude of the Walker circulation in the tropical Pacific. It is suggested that the Pacific Walker circulation is at a saturation state, at which the zonal sea surface temperature difference is bounded by about a quarter of the latitudinal difference of the radiative–convective equilibrium sea surface temperature.

Corresponding author address: Z. Liu, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706-1695. E-mail: znl@ocean.meteor.wisc.edu
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