Taking the Temperature of the Earth: Ocean Surface Temperature

Friday, 19 December 2014: 1:55 PM
Peter J Minnett, Univ Miami / RSMAS, Miami, FL, United States
The geographic extent of the oceans and the physical properties of sea water render the oceans a major influence on the climate, sometimes referred to as the “flywheel” of the earth’s climate system. The temperature of the sea surface, the interface between ocean and atmosphere, is a critical variable that can be best measured from earth observation satellites. The presentation will review the current status of satellite remote sensing of sea-surface temperature, the assessment of the errors and uncertainties in the satellite SST retrievals, and the processes that occur at the air-sea interface. The prospects of continuing improvements to the accuracy of the satellite SSTs and extending the time series of remotely sensed measurements will also be discussed.