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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

World Ocean Temperature

Live Map Oceans and Seas Surface Temperature
(Map Shows Temperatures in Real Time)

The temperature of the surface of the ocean is commonly referred to as sea surface temperature. Sea surface temperature is now recognized as one of the most important variables related to the global ocean atmosphere system. It is a key indicator for climate change, is widely applied to studies of upper ocean processes and air-sea heat exchange, and is used as a boundary condition for numerical weather prediction (NWP). Changes in sea surface temperature, such as the large changes in ocean temperatures during El Nintildeo / La Nintildea events, can have dramatic impacts on fisheries by forcing fish into regions where they are not commonly found. Additionally, coral-bleaching due to warm ocean temperatures can result in reduced fish habitat and fish species diversity. Changes in sea surface temperatures impact our weather and are therefore an important measurement for accurate weather forecasting of both daily weather and severe events, such as hurricanes. Like Earth's land surface, sea surface temperatures are warmer near the equator and colder near the poles. Wind driven ocean currents move warm and cold water around the world's oceans like giant rivers. Surface currents can be seen in sea surface temperature images from satellites. Traditionally, SST has been measured using infrared radiometers called AVHRRs and more recently MODIS. Recently, special microwave technology allows the AMSR-E sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite to measure sea surface temperatures through clouds, something no satellite sensor before it was able to do across the whole globe. An anomaly is when something is different from normal, or average. A sea surface temperature anomaly is how different the ocean temperature at a particular location at a particular time is from the normal temperatures for that place. For example, a global map of sea surface temperature anomaly for May 2006 would show where the temperatures in May 2006 were warmer, cooler, or the same as other Mays in previous years. Sea surface temperature anomalies can happen as part of normal ocean cycles or they can be a sign of long-term climate change, such as global warming. Daily global interpolated sea surface temperature data from the Advanced Microwave Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), courtesy Remote Sensing Systems. Image processing by NASA's Earth Observatory and Ames Research Center.
North and South America Temperatures
North and South America
(30 December 2013)
Europe and Africa Temperatures
Europe and Africa
(30 December 2013)

Australia Temperatures
(30 December 2013)

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