Long-term persistence in the sea surface temperature fluctuations

Roberto A. Monetti, Shlomo Havlin, Armin Bunde

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132 Scopus citations


We study the temporal correlations in the sea surface temperature (SST) fluctuations around the seasonal mean values in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We apply a method that systematically overcome possible trends in the data. We find that the SST persistence, characterized by the correlation C(s) of temperature fluctuations separated by a time period s, displays two different regimes. In the short-time regime which extends up to roughly 10 months, the temperature fluctuations display a non-stationary behavior for both oceans, while in the asymptotic regime it becomes stationary. The long-term correlations decay as C(s) ∼ s with γ ∼ 0.4 for both oceans which is different from γ∼0.7 found for atmospheric land temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-589
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We like to acknowledge financial support from CONICET (Argentina), the Israel Science Foundation and the Deutsche Forschungsgemainschaft.


  • DFA
  • Persistence
  • Scaling
  • Sea temperature fluctuations


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