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Satellite-based time-series of sea-surface temperature since 1981 for climate applications

Merchant, C. J., Embury, O., Bulgin, C. E., Block, T., Corlett, G. K., Fiedler, E., Good, S. A., Mittaz, J., Rayner, N. A., Berry, D., Eastwood, S., Taylor, M., Tsushima, Y., Waterfall, A., Wilson, R. and Donlon, C. (2019) Satellite-based time-series of sea-surface temperature since 1981 for climate applications. Scientific Data, 6. 223. ISSN 2052-4463

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41597-019-0236-x

Abstract/Summary

A climate data record of global sea surface temperature (SST) spanning 1981–2016 has been developed from 4 × 10^12 satellite measurements of thermal infra-red radiance. The spatial area represented by pixel SST estimates is between 1 km^2 and 45 km^2. The mean density of good-quality observations is 13 km^−2 yr^−1. SST uncertainty is evaluated per datum, the median uncertainty for pixel SSTs being 0.18 K. Multi-annual observational stability relative to drifting buoy measurements is within 0.003 K yr^−1 of zero with high confidence, despite maximal independence from in situ SSTs over the latter two decades of the record. Data are provided at native resolution, gridded at 0.05° latitude-longitude resolution (individual sensors), and aggregated and gap-filled on a daily 0.05° grid. Skin SSTs, depth-adjusted SSTs de-aliased with respect to the diurnal cycle, and SST anomalies are provided. Target applications of the dataset include: climate and ocean model evaluation; quantification of marine change and variability (including marine heatwaves); climate and ocean-atmosphere processes; and specific applications in ocean ecology, oceanography and geophysics.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:86882
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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