Sea Surface Temperatures


Sea surface temperature is the water temperature close to the ocean's surface.

An ocean is a body of saline water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere.

A temperature is an objective comparative measure of hot or cold.

RipCharts Sea Surface Temperature Tutorial by idletime2


The exact meaning of surface varies according to the measurement method used, but it is between 1 millimetre and 20 metres below the sea surface.

The metre or meter is the base unit of length in the International System of Units.

A sea is a large body of salt water that is surrounded in whole or in part by land.

MM or variants may refer to:

SeaDAS Tutorial: CaseStudy (Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies) by NASA OceanColor


Air masses in the Earth's atmosphere are highly modified by sea surface temperatures within a short distance of the shore.

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life.

The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases, commonly known as air, that surrounds the planet Earth and is retained by Earth's gravity.

An atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding a planet or other material body, that is held in place by the gravity of that body.


Localized areas of heavy snow can form in bands downwind of warm water bodies within an otherwise cold air mass. Warm sea surface temperatures are known to be a cause of tropical cyclogenesis over the Earth's oceans.

Snow pertains to frozen crystalline water throughout its life cycle, starting when it precipitates from clouds and accumulates on surfaces, then metamorphoses in place, and ultimately melts, slides or sublimates away.


Tropical cyclones can also cause a cool wake, due to turbulent mixing of the upper 30 metres of the ocean.


SST changes diurnally, like the air above it, but to a lesser degree.


There is less SST variation on breezy days than on calm days.


In addition, ocean currents such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, can effect SST's on multi-decadal time scales, a major impact results from the global thermohaline circulation, which affects average SST significantly throughout most of the world's oceans.

An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of seawater generated by forces acting upon this mean flow, such as breaking waves, wind, the Coriolis effect, cabbeling, temperature and salinity differences, while tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon.

The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is a climate cycle that affects the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean based on different modes on multidecadal timescales.

Thermohaline circulation is a part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes.


Ocean temperature is related to ocean heat content, an important topic in the study of global warming.

Global warming and climate change are terms for the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system and its related effects.

The improper expression Oceanic heat content refers to the heat absorbed by the ocean, which is then stored as a form of internal energy or enthalpy.


Coastal SSTs can cause offshore winds to generate upwelling, which can significantly cool or warm nearby landmasses, but shallower waters over a continental shelf are often warmer.

Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water.

The continental shelf is an underwater landmass which extends from a continent, resulting in an area of relatively shallow water known as a shelf sea.


Onshore winds can cause a considerable warm-up even in areas where upwelling is fairly constant, such as the northwest coast of South America.

South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere.


Its values are important within numerical weather prediction as the SST influences the atmosphere above, such as in the formation of sea breezes and sea fog.

A sea breeze or onshore breeze is any wind that blows from a large body of water toward or onto a landmass; it develops due to differences in air pressure created by the differing heat capacities of water and dry land.

Numerical weather prediction uses mathematical models of the atmosphere and oceans to predict the weather based on current weather conditions.


It is also used to calibrate measurements from weather satellites.

The weather satellite is a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth.

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