2010-2019 SST in the Mediterranean

The animation above gives a visual impression of Mediterranean temperature dynamics during the last 9 years by displaying daily Medspiration L4 products of 2 km resolution SSTfnd from 30 August 2010 to 25 May 2019.

Medspiration is an ESA- funded project, started in 2004, aimed at producing a robust and reliable set of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data by combining the best outputs from several independent SST missions. It has been the first operational node (European Regional Data Assembly Centre) of the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST), an open international science group that promotes use of satellites for monitoring SST by enabling SST data producers, users and scientists to collaborate within an agreed framework of best practice.

SST has a complex definition due to the upper ocean temperature variability associated to ocean turbulence and air-sea exchanges (heat, moisture and momentum). An agreed set of SST variables includes, ranging from the top ocean water layer to a depth of ~10 m, the interface SST, the skin SST, the sub-skin SST, SST depth and the foundation SST.

The colour coded values visible in the animation represent the foundation SST (SSTfnd), defined as the temperature of the water column free of diurnal temperature variability (daytime warming or nocturnal cooling). This is an ultra-high resolution (2km) analysed L4 product.

SSTfnd products, available with a 24 hours frequency, have been running through a python color-coding/conversion script and a set of Adobe apps to create the final animation.

The animation was prepared on the occasion of the 20th meeting of the GHRSST International Science Team, that took place in Frascati on 3-7 June 2019.