After the sun, the ocean is the most important driver of weather and climate on the planet - it transports heat across latitudes and depths, exchanges moisture with the atmosphere, and its climatic cycles affect weather patterns around the world. The ocean is home to 50 percent of life on Earth, and over half of humans live within 35 miles of its coast. This week, NOAA has taken one step closer to a better understanding of our ocean's dynamics. Researchers in NOAA Satellite and Information Service have developed and put into operations a daily 5 kilometer resolution sea surface temperature product - the highest resolution, global, cloud-cleared, real-time analysis of the ocean temperature thus far. The 5 km product replaces the 13 km product developed just four years ago. This particular dataset combines measurements from the NOAA GOES and POES, EUMETSAT Meteosat-9 and Metop-A, and JMA MTSAT satellites, and uses an improved series of equations to reduce the noise and improve the spatial accuracy over other SST measurements.
Courtesy of NOAA
Shown here is the blended SST product for May 2, 2012, along with detailed insets showing the Gulf Stream Current (top), Kuroshio Current (middle), and the Malvinas Current (bottom). A full resolution rendering of the data can be seen here.