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Empirical Orthogonal Functions: The Medium is the Message ADAM H. MONAHAN
 

Summary: REVIEW
Empirical Orthogonal Functions: The Medium is the Message
ADAM H. MONAHAN
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
JOHN C. FYFE
Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment Canada, University of Victoria, Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada
MAARTEN H. P. AMBAUM
Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
DAVID B. STEPHENSON
Exeter Climate Systems, Mathematics Research Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
GERALD R. NORTH
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
(Manuscript received 2 February 2009, in final form 27 May 2009)
ABSTRACT
Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis is a powerful tool for data compression and dimensionality
reduction used broadly in meteorology and oceanography. Often in the literature, EOF modes are interpreted
individually, independent of other modes. In fact, it can be shown that no such attribution can generally be
made. This review demonstrates that in general individual EOF modes (i) will not correspond to individual
dynamical modes, (ii) will not correspond to individual kinematic degrees of freedom, (iii) will not be sta-

  

Source: Ambaum, Maarten - Department of Meteorology, University of Reading
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Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences