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Keywords:

  • sea surface temperature;
  • climate trends;
  • tropical Pacific

[1] This study compares the global distribution of 20th century SST and marine air temperature trends from a wide variety of data sets including un-interpolated archives as well as globally-complete reconstructions. Apart from the eastern equatorial Pacific, all datasets show consistency in their statistically significant trends, with warming everywhere except the far northwestern Atlantic; the largest warming trends are found in the middle latitudes of both hemispheres. Two of the SST reconstructions exhibit statistically significant cooling trends over the eastern equatorial Pacific, in disagreement with the un-interpolated SST and marine air temperature datasets which show statistically significant warming in this region. Twentieth century trends in tropical marine cloudiness, precipitation and SLP from independent data sets provide physically consistent evidence for a reduction in the strength of the atmospheric Walker Circulation accompanied by an eastward shift of deep convection from the western to the central equatorial Pacific.