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Surface temperature (ocean)

Ocean surface temperature (often known as ‘sea surface temperature’ or SST) is one of the most important boundary conditions for the general circulation of the atmosphere. The ocean exchanges vast amounts of heat and energy with the atmosphere and these air/sea interactions have a profound influence on the Earth’s weather and climate patterns. SST is linked closely with the ocean circulation, as demonstrated by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.
Detailed MeasurementDescription*InstrumentsTimeline
Ocean temperature
3D field of temperature of the ocean Requested in the upper and deep ocean - Measuring and Uncertainty Units K1 instrument
Sea surface heat flux
Sea Surface Heat Flux - Measuring and Uncertainty Units W/m22 instruments
Sea surface temperature
Temperature of the sea water at surface. The “bulk” temperature refers to the depth of typically 2m, the “skin” temperature refers to within the upper 1 mm - Physical unit [ K ], Accuracy unit [ K ]46 instruments
* Description adapted from WMO.