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Walker Circulation

THE WALKER CIRCULATION is an atmospheric system of air flow in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The trade winds across the tropical Pacific flow from east to west: air rises above the warm waters of the western Pacific, flows eastward at high altitudes, and descends over the eastern Pacific. A weaker Walker circulation (in the reverse direction) occurs over the Indian Ocean.

Sir Gilbert Walker assumed the post of director-general of the observatory in India following catastrophic famines in the late 1800s resulting from an general failure of the South Asian monsoon. In an effort to predict the monsoons, Walker undertook an investigation into the regional climate system. Over time, he recognized that the monsoonal system extended to a panoceanic scale. Walker observed that an inverse ...

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