A statistical significance test for sea-level variability

Daniele Castellana, Henk A. Dijkstra, Fred W. Wubs

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A statistical test is presented to address the null hypothesis that sea-level fluctuations in the open ocean are solely due to additive noise in the wind stress. The effect of high-frequency wind-stress variations can be represented as a correlated additive and multiplicative noise (CAM) stochastic model of sea-level variations. The main novel aspect of this article is the estimation of parameters in the discrete CAM model from time series of sea surface height observations. This leads to a statistical test, similar to the red noise [or AR(1)] test for sea surface temperature, which can be used to attribute specific sea-level variability to other effects than wind-stress noise. We demonstrate the performance of this test using altimeter data at several locations in the open ocean.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdzy008
Number of pages16
JournalDynamics and Statistics of the Climate System: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17-Oct-2018

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