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Encyclopedia > Sea surface temperatures
Visualisation of the SST of the ocean just before Hurricane Bob (August 14, 1991)
Visualisation of the SST of the ocean just before Hurricane Bob (August 14, 1991)

Sea surface temperature (SST) is the water temperature at 1 meter below the sea surface. Pre-Hurricane Bob sea surface temperature (August 14, 1991). ... Pre-Hurricane Bob sea surface temperature (August 14, 1991). ... This article is about the hurricane of 1991. ... August 14 is the 226th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (227th in leap years), with 139 days remaining. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Temperature is the physical property of a system which underlies the common notions of hot and cold; the material with the higher temperature is said to be hotter. ... The metre, or meter (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... Sunset at sea Look up Sea on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Look up maritime on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Measuring SST

There are a variety of techniques for measuring this parameter that can potentially yield different results because different things are actually being measured.

The earliest technique for measuring SST was dipping a thermometer into a bucket of water manually drawn from the sea surface. The first automated technique for determining SST was accomplished by measuring the temperature of water in the intake port of large ships. This measurement is not always consistent, however, as the depth of the water intake as well as exactly where the temperature is taken can vary from vessel to vessel. Probably the most exact and repeatable measurements come from fixed buoys where the depth of water temperature measurement is always 1 meter and very robust electrical temperature probes are used. These measurements are usually beamed to satellites for automated and immediate data distribution. A large network of coastal buoys in U.S. waters is maintained by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC). Since about 1990, there has also been an extensive array of moored buoys maintained across the equatorial Pacific Ocean designed to help monitor and predict the El NiƱo phenomenon. A thermometer is a device used to measure temperatures or temperature changes. ... Chart of ocean surface temperature anomaly [°C] during the last strong El Niño in December 1997 El Niño and La Niña (also written in English as El Nino and La Nina) are major temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. ...

Since the 1980s satellites have been increasingly utilized to measure SST and have provided an enormous leap in our ability to view the spatial and temporal variation in SST. The satellite measurement is made by sensing the ocean radiation in two or more wavelengths in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum which can be then be empirically related to SST. These wavelengths are chosen because they are, The 1980s, in its most obvious sense, was the decade between 1980 and 1989. ... A satellite is any object that orbits another object (which is known as its primary). ... The word space has many meanings, including: Physics The definition of space in physics is contentious. ... For alternate uses of time, see Time (disambiguation) or see TIME (magazine). ... Radiation has a variety of different meanings. ... Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of microwave radiation. ... Legend: γ = Gamma rays HX = Hard X-rays SX = Soft X-Rays EUV = Extreme ultraviolet NUV = Near ultraviolet Visible light NIR = Near infrared MIR = Moderate infrared FIR = Far infrared Radio waves: EHF = Extremely high frequency (Microwaves) SHF = Super high frequency (Microwaves) UHF = Ultrahigh frequency VHF = Very high frequency HF = High frequency...

  1. within the peak of the blackbody radiation expected from the earth and
  2. able to transmit well through the atmosphere

The satellite measured SST provides both a synoptic view of the ocean and a high frequency of repeat views, allowing the examination of basin-wide upper ocean dynamics not possible with ships or buoys. For example, a ship traveling at 10 knots (20 km/h) would require 10 years to cover the same area a satellite covers in two minutes. As the temperature decreases, the peak of the black body radiation curve moves to lower intensities and longer wavelengths. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) Earths atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earths gravity. ... The worlds oceans as seen from the South Pacific Ocean (from Okeanos, Greek for river, the ancient Greeks noticed that a strong current flowed off Gibraltar, and assumed it was a great river); covers almost three quarters (71%) of the surface of the Earth, and nearly half of the... A knot is a unit of bullshit, abbreviated kt or kn. ...

However, there are several difficulties with satellite based absolute SST measurements. First, because all the radiation emanates from the top "skin" of the ocean, approximately the top 0.1 mm or less, it may not represent the bulk temperature of the upper meter of ocean due primarily to effects of solar surface heating in the daytime, and back radiation and sensible heat loss at night as well as from the effects of surface evaporation. This makes it difficult to compare to measurements from buoys or shipboard methods, complicating ground truth efforts. Secondly, the satellite cannot look through clouds, creating a "fair weather bias" in the long term trends of SST. Nonetheless, these difficulties are small compared to the benefits in understanding gained from satellite SST estimates. A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter, symbol mm) is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ...

SST and Hurricanes

Remotely sensed SST can be used to detect the surface temperature signature due to hurricanes. In general, a SST cooling is observed after the passing of a hurricane primarily as the result of mixed layer deepening and surface heat losses. In some cases upwelling caused by a surface wind field divergence perhaps in conjunction with bathymetric effects can also be a source of cooling. This article is about weather phenomena. ...

The SST changes primarily have important biological implications for hospitable/inhospitable conditions for many organisms including species of plankton, seagrasses, shellfish, fish and mammals. Although the SST changes are short-lived their ramifications are still not well understood. Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology is the science of life (from the Greek words bios = life and logos = word). ... In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a living being. ... Photomontage of plankton organisms Plankton are drifting organisms that inhabit the water column of oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. ... Johnsons seagrass in Florida coast Seagrass (or sea-grass in British English) is a term that refers to flowering plants from two plant families (Potamogetonaceae and Hydrocharitacea) that grow in the marine environment. ... Shellfish is a term used to describe shelled molluscs and crustaceans used as food. ... Groups Conodonta Hyperoartia Petromyzontidae (lampreys) Pteraspidomorphi (early jawless fish) Thelodonti Anaspida Cephalaspidomorphi (early jawless fish) Galeaspida Pituriaspida Osteostraci Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) Placodermi Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish) Acanthodii Osteichthyes (bony fish) Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) Actinistia (coelacanths) Dipnoi (lungfish) A fish is a poikilothermic (cold-blooded) water-dwelling... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary...

Meteorological data and variables

Dew point | Heat index | Wind chill | Water vapor | Atmospheric pressure | Temperature Precipitation | Wind | Clouds | Lightning | Visibility | Convection | Theta-e | CAPE | CIN
Sea surface temperature | Vorticity | Pot T | Humidity Satellite image of Hurricane Hugo with a polar low visible at the top of the image. ... The dew point or dewpoint of a given parcel of air is the temperature to which the parcel must be cooled, at constant barometric pressure, for the water vapor component to condense into water, called dew. ... The heat index (HI) or humidex is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity to determine an apparent temperature — how hot it actually feels. ... Wind chill is the apparent temperature felt on the exposed human (or animal) body due to the combination of air temperature and wind speed. ... Water vapor or water vapour, also aqueous vapour, is the gas phase of water. ... diurnal (daily) rhythm of air pressure in northern Germany (black curve is air pressure) Atmospheric pressure is the pressure above any area in the Earths atmosphere caused by the weight of air. ... Temperature is the physical property of a system which underlies the common notions of hot and cold; the material with the higher temperature is said to be hotter. ... Wind is the roughly horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by uneven heating of the Earths surface. ... Cumulus of fair weather A cloud is a visible mass of condensation droplets or ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of the Earth or another planetary body. ... Lightning over Pentagon City in Arlington County, Virginia Lightning is a powerful natural electrostatic discharge produced during a thunderstorm. ... In meteorology, visibility is a measure of the distance that can be seen clearly at any given time. ... Convection is the transfer of heat by currents within a fluid. ... Equivalent potential temperature is commonly referred to as Theta-e. ... In meteorology, convective available potential energy (CAPE) is the amount of energy a parcel of air would have if lifted a certain distance vertically through the atmosphere. ... Convective inhibition (CIN or CINH) is a meteorlogic parameter that measures the amount of energy that will prevent an air parcel from rising from the surface to the level of free convection. ... Vorticity is a mathematical concept used in fluid dynamics. ... The potential temperature of a parcel of air at pressure is the temperature that the parcel would aquire if adiabatically brought to a standard reference pressure , usually 1 bar. ... Humidity is the concentration of water vapor in the air. ...

Meteorological Observation Systems and Weather Stations

(Earth based) Satellite image of Hurricane Hugo with a polar low visible at the top of the image. ... A technician checks data from a weather station. ...

Automated Surface Observing System | Remote Automated Weather Station Meteorological Aerodrome Report | Automatic weather station | Global Sea Level Observing System | Weather balloon | SST buoys | Hurricane Hunter | Dropsonde The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) and the older Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) are sensors used to measure and record hourly and significant weather conditions at airports across the United States. ... The Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) system is a network of weather stations run by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and monitored by the National Interagency Fire Center, mainly to observe potential wildfire conditions. ... METAR is a format for reporting weather information. ... An AWS in Antarctica An automatic weather station (AWS) is an automated version of the tradition weather station, either to save human labour or to enable measurements from remote areas. ... Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) is a Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commissions program whose purpose is to measure the sea level globally for long term climate change studies. ... Rawinsonde weather balloon just after launch. ... Hurricane Hunters is the nickname given to two groups that fly instrumented aircraft into Atlantic tropical cyclones (hurricanes) to collect data. ... A dropsonde is a weather reconnaissance device designed to be dropped from an airplane or similar craft at altitude to measure telemetry as the device falls to the ground. ...


External links

  • NOAA Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Contour Charts

Note: this article has been adapted from the NOAA information found at http://www.csc.noaa.gov/crs/cohab/hurricane/sst.htm, allowable because this falls under fair use copyright. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... The fair use doctrine is an aspect of United States copyright law that provides for the licit, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another authors work under a four-factor balancing test. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Sea surface temperature - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (997 words)
Sea surface temperature (SST) is the water temperature at the surface.
The earliest technique for measuring SST was dipping a thermometer into a bucket of water manually drawn from the sea surface.
SSTs above 26.5 degrees C are generally favorable for the formation and sustaining of tropical cyclones.
  More results at FactBites »



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