SSYTSea Surface Temperature (SST) is defined as the temperature of the uppermost mixed layer of the ocean (i.e. the water column close to the surface).

SST is of major importance when studying oceans and seas. Indeed, SST pilots a large range of thermal, metabolic and biological processes. Thus, it is an important variable for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, atmospheric modelling and marine ecosystems studying. Changes in SST directly affect marine ecosystems and lead, for example, to coral reefs bleaching, algae blooming, wildlife migrations, etc. 

To measure the SST, different ways exist. Scientists use temperature sensors aboard satellites, buoys and ships, ocean reference stations, as well as, marine telemetry (i.e. interpretation of animals’ movements and behaviour) to estimate SST. As oceans cover 71% of the Earth, satellite sensors are important devices to estimate the SST of the whole surface. 

Unit: Kelvin or Celsius degree


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