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Title: Variability in surface atmospheric circulation over Europe from early instrumental records.
Author: Slonosky, Victoria C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3417 2634
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1999
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The variability of atmospheric circulation is reconstructed over the last two centuries from surface pressure observations extending into the 18th and 19th centuries at 51 locations across Europe. Daily observations from London and Paris exist for 1697-1706; these are analyzed and compared to modem data. The monthly pressure data have been rigorously checked to ensure compatibility with modem observational standards. The pressure series have undergone relative homogeneity tests using a technique developed to deal specifically with these data, and the results compared to those obtained using well-established homogeneity methods. The method developed here was shown to be the most appropriate, particularly for the earlier data. Empirical orthogonal function (BOF) analysis was used to test the stability of circulation patterns over different periods. The three most important modes of variation were found: EOF 1) describing the overall covariance of pressure; EOF 2) the strength of the zonal flow over Europe; and EOF 3) the degree of cycloncity or anti-cyclonicity in the eastern North Atlantic. The ability of the sparser network of 20 stations available from the early 19th century to adequately recover the patterns and variability of the full network is demonstrated. Time series of the North Atlantic Oscillation, the mid-latitude westerly winds, and an index representing the strength of the westerly air flow between London and Paris have been constructed and extend back to the 18th century, as well as the period 1697-1706 for Paris and London. Correlations between eight temperature series from western and central Europe and the circulation indices demonstrate the importance of the atmospheric circulation in determining European temperatures. Running correlations calculated over windows of 25 years reveal striking non-stationarity in circulation-climate relationships. Spectral analyses of the circulation indices suggest a shift from high-frequency oscillatory behaviour in the 19th century to lower frequency behaviour in the 20th
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Climate change; Climatology; Homogeneity Meteorology Climatology Atmosphere History