Definition:Sea Surface Temperature
Category:Academic & Science » Ocean Science
Country/Region:Worldwide Worldwide

Table of Contents

Summary and Conclusions:

SST has long been a key variable in ocean measurement, and it has attracted much scientific attention. We have identified the seasonal and global patterns of SST using a combination ship SSTs and moored-and-drifting buoy SSTs. We realized that the SST of the 10mm thick ocean skin layer can only be represented by satellite infrared SSTs. Future efforts should focus on separating the satellite skin SSTs and the bulk SSTs measuring 1-5m from ships and buoys. 

The skin layer is simply a molecular layer that interacts with turbulent ocean and turbulent atmosphere. The wind speed and net ocean-sea heat flux directly affect the temperature differences between the skin and bulk temperatures. This relationship is important in order to understand the net heat and momentum fluxes that occur between the oceans and atmosphere.

 In part, this understanding and the shift to the computation of skin SST from satellite infrared data depend on the creation of a network of ‘ship of opportunity’ based skin SST radiometers collecting global and continuous samples of skin SST ‘ground truth’ data (i.e., without an intervening atmosphere).

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