Sea Surface Temperature (1 month - AVHRR, 1981-2006)

Sea Surface Temperature (1 month - AVHRR, 1981-2006) | NASA

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About this dataset

Sea surface temperature is the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean's surface. Sea surface temperatures influence weather, including hurricanes, as well as plant and animal life in the ocean. Like Earth's land surface, sea surface temperatures are warmer near the equator and colder near the poles. Currents like giant rivers move warm and cold water around the world's oceans. Some of these currents flow on the surface, and they are obvious in sea surface temperature images.

Warm ocean waters help form clouds and affect weather patterns. The sea's surface temperature is also correlated to the availability of tiny ocean plants, called phytoplankton. For all of these reasons scientists monitor the sea's surface temperature. These maps show satellite measurements of the sea's surface temperature for a given day, or for a span of days. These data are collected by an ongoing series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites.

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December 2006

Downloads info

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1.0 degrees 360 x 180 download
0.5 degrees 720 x 360 download
0.25 degrees 1440 x 720 download
0.1 degrees 3600 x 1800 download
CSV for Excel older than 2007 download

Download Raw Data (8 MB)

Get Data

1. Go here: AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.3 level 3 collated (L3C) global 4km sea surface temperature for 1981-Present

2. Download data from the "Download Data" section in the table.

Related Websites

4 km AVHRR Pathfinder Project Data

Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)

Further Reading

El Nino

Great, Warm Lakes

A Dangerous Storm Nears the Gulf Coast

Dorian Moves Over Storm Fueling Waters


Imagery produced by the NASA Earth Observations team using Sea Surface Temperature data from the NOAA/NASA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder Project.

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for Sea Surface Temperature (1 month - AVHRR, 1981-2006)

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