Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Walker, Gilbert Thomas (1868–1958)
GILBERT THOMAS WALKER is the British physicist and statistician who first described the phenomenon of Southern Oscillation, a coherent interannular fluctuation of atmospheric pressure over the tropical Indo-Pacific region that produces wind anomalies. This was part of Walkers project to determine the connections between the Asian monsoon and other climatic fluctuations in the global climate in an effort to predict unusual monsoon years that cause drought and famine to the Asian sector. Although he was not a meteorologist by education, Walker greatly advanced the study of global climate with his discovery. Gilbert Thomas Walker was born on June 14,1868, in Rochdale, Lancashire. He was the eldest son and fourth child in a large family of eight. Soon after his birth, his family relocated to Croydon, where his father became the borough's chief engineer. From 1876 on, Gilbert attended Whitgift School, and in 1881 he won a scholarship to St. Pauls ...