You are here

GCOS Ocean Physics ECV - Sea Surface Temperature

The large-scale spatial patterns of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) are related to large-scale weather patterns. SST plays important roles in the exchanges of energy, momentum, moisture and gases between the ocean and atmosphere. The heat and moisture exchanges are a main driver of global weather systems and climate patterns. On 25–100 km scales, strong SST gradients can contribute to vertical atmospheric circulations that transfer energy and moisture from the atmospheric boundary layer to the free atmosphere. On smaller scales, SSTs are used to diagnose adverse conditions for coral reefs. However, SST is not a good indicator of multiannual variations in the energy stored in the ocean.

Product Requirements:

  • Frequency:  Hourly to weekly
  • Resolution:  1-100 km
  • Required Measurement uncertainty:  0.1 K over 100 km scales
  • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified):  < 0.03 K over 100 km scales
  • Standards/References:  See EOV specification sheets
  • Entity (Satellite):  WGClimate
  • Entity (in situ):  JCOMM


Data Sources: