Climate Data

SST (AMSR-E): Sea Surface Temperature from Remote Sensing Systems

High resolution (0.25°) SSTs were derived from the AMSR-E, a passive microwave radiometer flying on NASA's AQUA satellite. Remote Sensing Systems distributes the data in high spatial and temporal (daily, weekly, monthly) resolutions for both daytime and nighttime averages. Monthly versions are available on a 1°x1° grid from JPL PO-DAAC as well as the CMIP5 obs4MIPS distribution; these 1°x1° monthly versions were computed from the nighttime averages. Unlike SSTs from ships, buoys, etc, SSTs from AMSR-E are a 'skin' temperature from a layer ~1mm thick.<p>

NOTE: "The AMSR-E antenna stopped spinning at the required speed on Oct 4, 2011.  This is most likely due to aging lubricant in the spin mechanism. We no longer produce AMSR-E data products after Oct 4 2011.  The AMSR-E instrument continues to function, but with extremely reduced capability.  JAXA has released an official statement: Official press release from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)"

Key Strengths:

  • SSTs can be retrieved even in the presence of clouds
  • High spatial and temporal sampling

Key Limitations:

  • Sampling can be inhomogeneous due to no retrievals in regions with rain, high winds (>25 m/s), near sea ice, or very near coasts (<~75 km)
  • Coarser spatial resolution and less accuracy than AVHRR retrievals
  • Short record length

Years of Record

2002/06 to 2010/12
temporal metadataID:
PODAAC-SST00-1D1M1

Formats

Timestep

Daily | Monthly | Weekly

Data Time Period Extended?

no, data set not being extended

Domain

Spatial Resolution

0.25°x0.25° (RSS) or 1°x1° (Obs4MIPS & JPL)

Ocean or Land

Ocean Only

Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Vertical Levels

Input Data

AMSR-E brightness temperatures

Earth system components and main variables

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes

Thumbnails

Captions

Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E Monthly mean SST, number of observations and standard error for July, 2006 derived from AMSR-E.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre datasets Annual cycle of climatological (200206-201012) areal mean SST: Globe, 20N-90N, 20S-20N, 20S-90S for the AMSR-E and Hadley Centre (HadISST) datasets.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre EOF 1. EOF 1 (25N-60N, 275-330E) for the AMSR-E and Hadley Center (HadISST) data sets. The linear correlation coefficient between the principal component time series is 0.97.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre pattern correlations. Global anomaly pattern correlations (AMSR-E and Hadley Center) for the period 200206-201012.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre Anomalies between the respective AMSR-E and Hadley (HadISST) December climatologies over the period 200206-201012. Top: AMSRE (200212)- AMSRE; Middle: Hadley (200212)- Hadley. Bottom: Differences between the AMSRE and Hadley for 200212. The anomaly pattern correlation between the Top and Middle is 0.77.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre Anomalies between the respective AMSR-E and Hadley (HadISST) December climatologies over the period 200206-201012. Top: AMSRE (200612)- AMSRE; Middle: Hadley (200612)- Hadley. Bottom: Differences between the AMSRE and Hadley for 200612. The anomaly pattern correlation between the Top and Middle is 0.68.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre Anomalies between the respective AMSR-E and Hadley (HadISST) December climatologies over the period 200206-201012. Top: AMSRE (200712)- AMSRE; Middle: Hadley (200712)- Hadley. Bottom: Differences between the AMSRE and Hadley for 200712. The anomaly pattern correlation between the Top and Middle is 0.79.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre Anomalies between the respective AMSR-E and Hadley (HadISST) December climatologies over the period 200206-201012. Top: AMSRE (200912)- AMSRE; Middle: Hadley (200912)- Hadley. Bottom: Differences between the AMSRE and Hadley for 200912. The anomaly pattern correlation between the Top and Middle is 0.77.
Climate Data Guide Image: AMSR-E & Hadley Centre Anomalies between the respective AMSR-E and Hadley (HadISST) December climatologies over the period 200206-201012. Top: AMSRE (201012)- AMSRE; Middle: Hadley (201012)- Hadley. Bottom: Differences between the AMSRE and Hadley for 201012. The anomaly pattern correlation between the Top and Middle is 0.84.

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 02 Jul 2016. "The Climate Data Guide: SST (AMSR-E): Sea Surface Temperature from Remote Sensing Systems." Retrieved from https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/sst-amsr-e-sea-surface-temperature-remote-sensing-systems.

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.