Satellite SST: What product should I use and can it resolve diurnal variability?

Gary Wick


Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 2:00 pm


This two-part seminar discusses the large number of satellite sea surface temperature (SST) products presently available and examines the ability of a small subset of those to accurately resolve large diurnal warming events. In the first part, I briefly review the range of existing satellite SST products and highlight a few key characteristics. The question as to which product is “best” depends on the given application, and despite the large number of products, there still might not be one perfectly suited to you. The second part is focused on two questions: Can operational SST products from current geosynchronous satellites reliably characterize extreme diurnal warming events, and, if so, what are the amplitudes and frequencies of these events? Estimates of diurnal warming amplitudes computed using a wide range of methods over a three-month period and their corresponding distributions are compared and assessed. The results demonstrate that, while satellite-derived warming estimates must be interpreted with care, reliable evidence exists for the occurrence of large diurnal warming with magnitudes, frequency, and spatial extents great enough to warrant explicit consideration of their impacts.


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