Correcting historic sea surface temperature measurements

Something odd happened in the oceans in the early 20th century. The North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific appeared to warm twice as much as the global average while the Northwest Pacific cooled over several decades.

Changing how we predict coral bleaching

A remote sensing algorithm offers better predictions of Red Sea coral bleaching and can be fine tuned for use in other tropical marine ecosystems.

Sea surface temperature

Sea surface temperature (SST) is the water temperature close to the surface.

In practical terms, the exact meaning of surface varies according to the measurement method used. A satellite infrared radiometer indirectly measures the temperature of a very thin layer of about 10 micrometres thick (referred to as the skin) of the ocean which leads to the phrase skin temperature (because infrared radiation is emitted from this layer). A microwave instrument measures subskin temperature at about 1 mm. A thermometer attached to a moored or drifting buoy in the ocean would measure the temperature at a specific depth, (e.g. at 1 meter below the sea surface) — this temperature during the day is called temperature of the warm layer. The measurements routinely made from ships are often from the engine water intakes and may be at various depths in the upper 20 m of the ocean. In fact, this temperature is often called sea surface temperature, or foundation temperature. Note that the depth of measurement in this case will vary with the cargo aboard the vessel.

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