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Satellite sea surface temperature patterns

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Abstract. Thermal infrared imagery from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is used to compute 10-day composite sea surface temperature (SST) maps in the western tropical Pacific. Three different SST algorithms are used with the same input data to demonstrate the similarities in spatial patterns of the different algorithms despite overall magnitude differences of the SST. Colour images and histograms demonstrate the similarities of the large-scale ( 100km) spatial patterns with different absolute magnitude levels. Features with smaller spatial scales differ between the SST algorithms with the skin SST fine structure differing the most from the other two buoy-calibrated SSTs. The difference between the two AVHRR thermal infrared channels was found to correspond with the atmospheric moisture pattern. Studies of large-scale SST pattern may be conducted with any SST algorithm.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 20, 1997

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