Sea Surface Temperature 2002-2011 (1 month - Aqua/AMSR-E)

Sea Surface Temperature 2002-2011 (1 month - Aqua/AMSR-E) | NASA

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About this dataset

Sea surface temperature is the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean's surface. Sea surface temperatures influence weather, including hurricanes, as well as plant and animal life in the ocean. Like Earth's land surface, sea surface temperatures are warmer near the equator and colder near the poles. Currents like giant rivers move warm and cold water around the world's oceans. Some of these currents flow on the surface, and they are obvious in sea surface temperature images.

Warm ocean waters help form clouds and affect weather patterns. The sea's surface temperature also affects life in the ocean by influencing where and when tiny ocean plants (called phytoplankton) will grow. For all of these raeasons scientists monitor the sea's surface temperature. These maps show satellite measurements of the sea's surface temperature for a given day, or for a span of days. Special microwave technology allows the AMSR-E sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite to measure sea surface temperatures through clouds, something no satellite sensor before it was able to do across the whole globe.

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September 2011

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AMSR-E ended data collection in October 2011 due to problems with the rotation of its antenna.

Related Websites

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

AMSR-E @ Marshall Space Flight Center

AMSR-E/Aqua @ Goddard Space Flight Center

AMSR-E @ Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency


ATBD (Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document)

AMSR Ocean Algorithm


Images by Jesse Allen, NASA's Earth Observatory, using Sea Surface Temperature data from the Advanced Microwave Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), courtesy Remote Sensing Systems.

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for Sea Surface Temperature 2002-2011 (1 month - Aqua/AMSR-E)

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