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Sea Surface Temperature

Other Names

SST, Sea Surface Skin Temperature


The temperature of the layer of sea water (approximately 0.5m deep) nearest the atmosphere.
Sea surface temperature refers to the temperature of the water at the oceanic surface. This temperature can range from approximately -2 degrees C in the polar regions to 31-32 degrees C in the tropics. Oceanic currents have characteristic temperatures, and this makes sea surface temperature the preferred data type for the observation of oceanic circulation.


(1) Global radiation budget (3) Ocean circulation
(2) Atmospheric-ocean interaction (4) Ocean primary productivity


Near-Infrared (4-12 micrometer)

Other sources for data

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Last updated: Oct 13, 2009 01:32 PM ET