An appraisal of NCEP/NCAR reanalysis MSLP data viability for climate studies in the South Pacific

Fifty years of monthly mean sea level pressure (MSLP) data from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis (hereinafter NNR) are validated against station observations in the extratropical South Pacific and West Antarctica. The period for which the NNR may be considered reliable differs markedly between regions. It is only realistic from ∼1970 across West Antarctica. A lack of surface observations entering the model causes the NNR to be poorly constrained prior to the availability of GTS‐based data in 1967: the latter coincides with a significant improvement in the NNR MSLP across the eastern South Pacific. Substantial spurious negative trends occur within the NNR MSLP at high latitudes; although the decrease is greatest prior to the advent of satellite sounder data it continues into the 1990s south of 60°S. In addition, widely used tropical and extra‐tropical circulation indices are poorly represented in the NNR data prior to the 1960s.


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Authors: Marshall, Gareth J., Harangozo, Stephen A.

On this site: Gareth Marshall
1 January, 2000
Geophysical Research Letters / 27
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