Publication in: Spring 2023 Issue

Reconstructing West Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures Using World War II Ship Observations
David Griffith
Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty Mentor(s):
Elaine Godfrey
Abstract / Summary:
Climate models utilizing sea surface temperature (SST), data sets reveal a warm SST anomaly during World War II (WW2),. Causes for warming during this time show biases in ship observations that are not from natural causes. SST measuring techniques using buckets and engine room intake are potentially two of the main causes for this warming, and corrections to these data have been made. However, loss of ship information and loss of data from the punch card digitization process could impact these measurements as well. Corrected SSTs from ships use punch card digitized data that may have associated data loss. WW2 ship observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), archives office are used to construct two SST datasets of the West Pacific for one month at different times and compare it to uncorrected data from the International Comprehensive Ocean – Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS),. After comparing the two datasets, the NOAA archived data show a slight variation in SSTs with the NOAA archived data. Results reveal a potential sample size issue with the ICOADS data, suggesting further expansion of future datasets.
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