Table of Contents
ISRN Oceanography
Volume 2013, Article ID 392632, 9 pages
Research Article

An Investigation of the Southern Ocean Surface Temperature Variability Using Long-Term Optimum Interpolation SST Data

Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, Ahmedabad 380015, India

Received 12 June 2013; Accepted 10 July 2013

Academic Editors: S. Focardi, C. Grenz, and M. Lipinski

Copyright © 2013 Megha Maheshwari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An attempt is made to understand the long-term variability of SST using NOAA optimum interpolation SST data for the period (1982–2011) in the Southern Ocean. This dataset has been used (i) to study the interannual variability in SST anomaly and (ii) to carry out regression analysis to compute linear trend in the annual averaged Southern Ocean SST. It is observed that summer season exhibits more variability than winter. Moreover, El Nino/La Nina events apparently play a critical role in the variability of Southern Ocean SST. Thus, higher SST anomalies were observed in El Nino years (e.g., 1983), while cooler anomalies were seen during La Nina years (e.g., 1985). In addition, the eastern and western sides of Antarctica experience episodes of warm and cold SST. Western parts of the Southern Ocean experienced higher anomalies during 1992, 1993, and 1994, while the eastern part experienced positive anomalies in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2003. The paper also highlights the different regions of the Southern Ocean showing statistically significant positive/negative trends in the variability of interannual average SST. However, in general, the Southern Ocean as a whole is showing a weak interannual cooling trend in SST.