Sea Surface Temperature (L4, MUR)


Temporal coverage: 01 June 2002 - Present

The Sea Surface Temperature (L4, MUR) layer is created from the GHRSST Sea Surface Temperature Level 4, MUR sea surface temperature analysis product, which uses wavelets as basis functions in an optimal interpolation approach on a global 0.011 degree grid. The version 4 Multiscale Ultrahigh Resolution (MUR) L4 analysis is based upon nighttime GHRSST L2P skin and subskin SST observations from several instruments including the NASA Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua and Terra platforms, the US Navy microwave WindSat radiometer and in situ SST observations from the NOAA iQuam project. The ice concentration data are from the archives at the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI SAF) High Latitude Processing Center and are also used for an improved SST parameterization for the high-latitudes.

The Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) layers are the “skin sea surface temperature” at approximately 10-20 µm depth in Celsius (°C). Changes in sea surface temperature have an impact on weather, oceanic and atmospheric current patterns, affects ocean ecology and even life on land. Sea surface temperatures are normally warmer near the equator and cooler near the poles, but ocean currents move warm and cold water around the Earth’s oceans. When these currents flow near the surface, they are typically visible in the sea surface imagery if not obscured by clouds. El Niño is an example of how changes in sea surface temperature affect weather around the world. El Niño occurs every 3 – 7 years and causes a wide swath of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean around the equator to warm 2 – 3 °C (or even more during intense El Nino events). This anomalous warming in turn changes weather patterns around the world. For example, increased precipitation typically occurs in the southern United States, and severe drought is found in Australia, Indonesia, and southern Asia during these periods. Other examples of SST effects on weather include the ocean temperature influence on the development of tropical cyclones like hurricanes and typhoons. Tropical cyclones are dependent on warm SST from which they draw heat and energy to form and intensify.

The imagery resolution is 1 km, and the temporal resolution is daily.

References: PO.DAAC - GHRSST Level 4 MUR Global Foundation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis