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2018 JCR, Web of Science Group 2019

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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00420

Observational Needs of Sea Surface Temperature

  • 1European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, Germany
  • 2NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), United States
  • 3Bureau of Meteorology (Australia), Australia
  • 4University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 5National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States
  • 6European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Netherlands
  • 7Earth and Space Research, United States
  • 8Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Denmark
  • 9University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana
  • 10Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan
  • 11Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • 12University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • 13Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Italy
  • 14University of Miami, United States
  • 15Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
  • 16Italian National Research Council (CNR), Italy
  • 17Météo-France, France
  • 18University of Southampton, United Kingdom

Sea surface temperature (SST) is a fundamental physical variable for understanding, quantifying and predicting complex interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere. Such processes determine how heat from the sun is redistributed across the global oceans, directly impacting large- and small-scale weather and climate patterns. The provision of daily maps of global SST for operational systems, climate modelling and the broader scientific community is now a mature and sustained service coordinated by the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) and the CEOS SST Virtual Constellation (CEOS SST-VC). Data streams are shared, indexed, processed, quality controlled, analyzed, and documented within a Regional/Global Task Sharing (R/GTS) framework, which is implemented internationally in a distributed manner. Products rely on a combination of low-Earth orbit infrared and microwave satellite imagery, geostationary orbit infrared satellite imagery, and in situ data from moored and drifting buoys, Argo floats, and a suite of independent, fully characterized and traceable in situ measurements for product validation (Fiducial Reference Measurements, FRM). Research and development continues to tackle problems such as instrument calibration, algorithm development, diurnal variability, derivation of high-quality skin and depth temperatures, and areas of specific interest such as the high latitudes and coastal areas.
In this white paper, we review progress versus the challenges we set out 10 years ago in a previous paper, highlight remaining and new research and development challenges for the next 10 years (such as the need for sustained continuity of passive microwave SST using a 6.9 GHz channel), and conclude with needs to achieve an integrated global high-resolution SST observing system, with focus on satellite observations exploited in conjunction with in situ SSTs. The paper directly relates to the theme of Data Information Systems and also contributes to Ocean Observing Governance and Ocean Technology and Networks within the OceanObs2019 objectives. Applications of SST contribute to all the seven societal benefits, covering Discovery; Ecosystem Health & Biodiversity; Climate Variability & Change; Water, Food, & Energy Security; Pollution & Human Health; Hazards and Maritime Safety; and the Blue Economy.

Keywords: sea surface temperature (SST), GHRSST, Observations, Satellite, Operational Oceanography, Climate Data Records (CDR), FRM

Received: 31 Oct 2018; Accepted: 05 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Sabrina Speich, École Normale Supérieure, France

Reviewed by:

Alberto R. Piola, Naval Hydrography Service, Argentina
Gilles Reverdin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France  

Copyright: © 2019 O'Carroll, Armstrong, Beggs, Bouali, Casey, Corlett, Dash, Donlon, Gentemann, Høyer, Ignatov, Kabobah, Kachi, Kurihara, Karagali, Maturi, Merchant, Marullo, Minnett, Pennybacker, ramakrishnan, Ramsankaran, Santoleri, Sunder, Saux Picart, Vázquez-Cuervo and Wimmer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Ms. Anne G. O'Carroll, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, Darmstadt, Germany,