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Title: The influence of atmospheric circulation on surface marine temperature
Author: Harrison, Jonathan Michael
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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Atmospheric circulation is an important influence on local climate, affecting meteorological variables such as temperature, precipitation, cloud cover and humidity. There are strong relationships between surface meteorology and atmospheric circulation in many areas. The extent to which these relationships can explain past climate variability however is unclear, especially over the oceans. A statistical model is developed that can capture the relationships between temperature anomalies and atmospheric circulation. This is then used to estimate the contribution of atmospheric circulation to variations in marine air temperature from as far back as 1770 until 2010. The uncertainty in the relationships is also calculated. Atmospheric circulation patterns are defined from calculations of flow direction, flow strength and average sea level pressure. Estimated and observed marine air temperature anomalies show significant correlations; especially over the northern hemisphere and mid-latitudes of the southern hemisphere. We show that atmospheric circulation has an important influence on past marine air temperature variability. The estimated marine air temperatures are also accompanied with suitable uncertainty estimates. It was concluded that atmospheric circulation is a key factor only in localised short-term climate variability and not the overall global temperature variability. The globally averaged marine air temperature estimates often have an anomaly close to zero. Other factors are more important when considering global marine temperature variability, such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and climate change. When focusing on differences between marine air temperature and sea surface temperature (SST) the climate change signal becomes less important and atmospheric circulation is the main contributor to differences seen.
Supervisor: Kent, Elizabeth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available