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Original Research Papers

The effect of various methodological options on the detection of leading modes of sea level pressure variability

Author:

Radan Huth

Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Prague, CZ
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Abstract

The effects of several methodological options in the application of principal component analysis (PCA) to gridded data are examined for monthly sea level pressure anomalies over the Northern Hemisphere in the winter half-year. The options include two grid-related ones, viz., the density of the grid and whether and howthe uneven areal distribution of gridpoints is compensated for, and two PCA-related ones, viz., the selection of similarity matrix and rotation. The compensation by a cosine weighting and by the use of a quasi-equal-area (QEA) grid has an almost identical effect if covariance matrix is used; the principal components (PCs) based on a regular latitude/longitude grid differ considerably from those based on the QEA grid and cosine-weighted data. The effect of a grid density is small, but recognizable for correlation-based PCs. The PCs derived from a correlation and covariance matrix differ from each other, the difference being considerably smaller for rotated solutions. Unrotated and rotated solutions differ from each other in the degree of simple structure they possess and in their correspondence to correlation maps. The rotated PCs exhibit much stronger simple structure and are more similar to the correlation maps, which suggests that in the interpretation of modes of variability, rotated solutions should be preferred. This implies that in the description of the leading mode of the Northern Hemisphere circulation variability, the sectorial view of the North Atlantic Oscillation should be preferred to the hemispheric view of the Arctic Oscillation.

How to Cite: Huth, R., 2006. The effect of various methodological options on the detection of leading modes of sea level pressure variability. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 58(1), pp.121–130. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2006.00158.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2006
 Accepted on 2 Sep 2005            Submitted on 23 May 2005

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