Variations in Near-Global Sea Level Pressure: Another View

Tim P. Barnett Climate Research Group, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, A-024, La Jolla, California

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Abstract

The behavior of large-scale patterns of sea level pressure is documented using a simple composite analysis over the period 1951–85. One interpretation of the maps shows that anomalies of a given sign appear sequentially along a closed, counterclockwise trajectory that transits Asia, eastward through the tropics of the Indo-Pacific then into the eastern Pacific, and finally back to Asia via the North Pacific. A typical time scale for this process is approximately 2 yr. Unfortunately, the composites are noisy and often poorly defined, thus allowing alternate interpretations.

Abstract

The behavior of large-scale patterns of sea level pressure is documented using a simple composite analysis over the period 1951–85. One interpretation of the maps shows that anomalies of a given sign appear sequentially along a closed, counterclockwise trajectory that transits Asia, eastward through the tropics of the Indo-Pacific then into the eastern Pacific, and finally back to Asia via the North Pacific. A typical time scale for this process is approximately 2 yr. Unfortunately, the composites are noisy and often poorly defined, thus allowing alternate interpretations.

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