Advertisement

Climatic Change

, Volume 31, Issue 2–4, pp 559–600 | Cite as

Marine surface temperature: Observed variations and data requirements

  • D. E. Parker
  • C. K. Folland
  • M. Jackson
Article

Abstract

Measurements of temperature at the ocean surface are an indispensible part of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). We describe the varying coverage of these measurements from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present era of satellite data, along with ongoing attempts to augment the available digitized data base. We next survey attempts to remove systematic biases from both sea surface temperature (SST) and marine air temperature (MAT) data and to combinein situ and satellite SSTs in a consistent manner. We also describe new or planned geographically complete climatologies of SST and night MAT for 1961-90. These are expected to be more reliable than existing climatologies in the Southern Ocean and other sparsely-observed areas. The new SST climatology has been used in the construction of an improved geographically-complete data set of sea ice and SST: the techniques used are briefly reviewed, as are other methods of analysis and assessment of worldwide SST.

We present global and regional time series of anomalies (i.e. deviations from reference climatology) of SST and night MAT for 1856 to 1994 constructed using the most complete data and best-estimate bias-corrections hitherto available. These series are compared with earlier published series, and are validated by means of comparisons with anomalies of air temperature from coastal and island stations. The sensitivity of the time series to imperfect coverage is assessed by means of frozen grid experiments. The results underscore the need for ongoing development of SST and MAT data bases within GCOS for the detection of climatic change, and for improved methods of analysis to optimally isolate the signals from incomplete data.

Keywords

Southern Ocean Ongoing Development Island Station Indispensible Part Marine Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander, R. C. and Mobley, R. L.: 1976, ‘Monthly Average Sea-Surface Temperatures and Ice-Pack Limits on a 1° Global Grid’,Mon. Wea. Rev. 104, 143–148.Google Scholar
  2. Barnett, T. P.: 1984, ‘Long-Term Trends in Surface Temperature over the Oceans’,Mon. Wea. Rev. 112, 303–312.Google Scholar
  3. Barton, I. J., Prata, A. J., and Cechet, R. P.: 1995, ‘Validation of the ATSR in Australian Waters’,J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech. 12, 290–300.Google Scholar
  4. Bottomley, M., Folland, C. K., Hsiung, J., Newell, R. E., and Parker, D. E.: 1990,Global Ocean Surface Temperature Atlas (GOSTA), Joint Meteorological Office and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Project, Project supported by U.S. Dept. of Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation and U.S. Office of Naval Research, Publication funded by U.K. Depts. of the Environment and Energy, HMSO, London, 20 + iv pp. and 313 Plates.Google Scholar
  5. Elms, J. D., Woodruff, S. D., Worley, S. J., and Hanson, C. S.: 1993, ‘Digitizing Historical Records for the Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS)’,Earth System Monitor 4, No. 2, 4–10.Google Scholar
  6. Folland, C. K. and Kates, F. E.: 1984, ‘Changes in Decadally Averaged Sea-Surface Temperature over the World 1861-1980’, in Berger, A.et al. (eds.),Milankovitch & Climate, pt 2, D. Reidel, pp. 721-727.Google Scholar
  7. Folland, C. K. and Parker, D. E.: 1990, ‘Observed Variations of Sea Surface Temperature’, in Schlesinger, M. E. (ed.),Climate-Ocean Interaction, Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, pp. 21–52.Google Scholar
  8. Folland, C. K. and Parker, D. E.: 1992, ‘The Instrumental Record of Surface Temperature: How Good Is It and What Can It Tell Us About Climate Change and Variability’,5th Internat. Mtg. Statist. Clim. and 12th Amer. Meteor. Assoc. Conf. Probability and Statistics in the Atmospheric Sciences, Toronto, 22–26 June 1992, pp. J1-J6.Google Scholar
  9. Folland, C. K. and Parker, D. E.: 1995, ‘Correction of Instrumental Biases in Historical Sea Surface Temperature Data’,Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 121, 319–367.Google Scholar
  10. Folland, C. K., Parker, D. E., and Kates, F. E.: 1984, ‘Worldwide Marine Surface Temperature Fluctuations 1856-1981’,Nature 310, 670–673.Google Scholar
  11. Folland, C. K., Reynolds, R. W., Gordon, M., and Parker, D. E.: 1993, ‘A Study of Six Operational Sea Surface Temperature Analyses’,J. Clim. 6, 96–113.Google Scholar
  12. Gandin, L. S.: 1963,Objective Analysis of Meteorological Fields, Gidrometeoizdat, St. Petersburg, in Russian, (English Translation, 1966, Israeli Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, 242 pp.).Google Scholar
  13. Graham, N. E.: 1994, ‘Decadal-Scale Climate Variability in the Tropical and North Pacific during the 1970s and 1980s: Observations and Model Results’,Clim. Dyn. 10, 135–162.Google Scholar
  14. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: 1992, ‘Climate Change 1992, The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment’, Houghton, J. T., Callander, B. A., and Varney, S. K. (eds.), WMO/UNEP, Cambridge University Press, 200 pp.Google Scholar
  15. James, R. W. and Fox, P. T.: 1972, ‘Comparative Sea-Surface Temperature Measurements’,Marine Sci. Affairs Reprot No. 5, WMO No. 336, Geneva, 27 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, P. D.: 1994, ‘Hemispheric Surface Air Temperature Variations: A Reanalysis and an Update to 1993’,J. Clim. 7, 1794–1802.Google Scholar
  17. Jones, P. D., Wigley, T. M. L., and Farmer, G.: 1991, ‘Marine and Land Temperature Data Sets: A comparison and a Look at Recent Trends’, in Schlesinger, M. E. (ed.),Greenhouse-Gas-Induced Climatic Change: A Critical Appraisal of Simulations and Observations, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 153–172.Google Scholar
  18. Jones, P. D., Wigley, T. M. L., and Wright, P. B.: 1986, ‘Global Temperature Variations between 1861 and 1984’,Nature 322, 430–434.Google Scholar
  19. Kagan, R. L.: 1979,Averaging Meteorological Fields, Gidrometeoizdat, St. Petersburg, 212 pp., in Russian, (Draft English translation available at the U.K. Meteorological Office and in the NOAA Climate Analysis Center).Google Scholar
  20. Karl, T. R., Knight, R. W., and Christy, J. R.: 1994, ‘Global and Hemispheric Temperature Trends: Uncertainties Related to Inadequate Spatial Sampling’,J. Clim. 7, 1144–1163.Google Scholar
  21. Kent, E. C., Taylor, P. K., Truscott, B. S., and Hopkins, J. S.: 1993, ‘The Accuracy of Voluntary Observing Ships' Meteorological Observations - Results of the VSOP-NA’,J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech. 10, 591–608.Google Scholar
  22. Maury, M. F.: 1958,Explanations and Sailing Directions to Accompany the Wind and Current Charts, Vol. 1, Printed by W. A. Harris, Washington DC, 383 + xxxvi pp and 51 Plates.Google Scholar
  23. Paltridge, G. and Woodruff, S.: 1981, ‘Changes in Global Surface Temperature from 1880 to 1977 Derived from Historical Records of Sea Surface Temperature’,Mon. Wea. Rev. 109, 2427–2434.Google Scholar
  24. Parker, D. E.: 1992, ‘Blending of COADS and UK Meteorological Office Marine Data Sets’, Proc. International COADS Workshop, Jan 1992, Boulder, Co., U.S.A., Diaz, H. F., Wolter, K., and Woodruff, S. D. (eds), NOAA, pp. 61-72.Google Scholar
  25. Parker, D. E.: 1994, ‘Effects of Changing Exposure of Thermometers at Land Stations’,Int. J. Climatol. 14, 1–31.Google Scholar
  26. Parker, D. E. and Folland, C. K.: 1991, ‘Worldwide Surface Temperature Trends since the Mid-19th Century’, in Schlesinger, M. E. (ed.),Greenhouse-Gas-Induced Climatic Change: A Critical Appraisal of Simulations and Observations, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 173–193.Google Scholar
  27. Parker, D. E., Jones, P. D., Folland, C. K., and Bevan, A.: 1994, ‘Interdecadal Changes of Surface Temperature since the Late Nineteenth Century’,J. Geophys. Res. 99, 14373–14399.Google Scholar
  28. Parker, D. E., Folland, C. K., Bevan, A., Ward, M. N., Jackson, M., and Maskell, K.: 1995, ‘Marine Surface Data for Analysis of Climatic Fluctuations on Interannual to Century Time Scales’, in Martinson, D. G.et al. (eds.),Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales, National Acad. Press, Washington, DC, (in press).Google Scholar
  29. Rayner, N. A., Ward, M. N., Parker, D. E., and Folland, C. K.: 1995, ‘Using EOF Analysis to Create a New GISST Data Set for Forcing GCMs’, in Folland, C. K. and Rowell, D. P. (eds.),Workshop on Simulations of the Climate of the Twentieth Century Using GISST, 28–30 November 1994, Hadley Centre, Bracknell, UK, Climate Research Technical Note CRTN56, available from the Hadley Centre, pp. 52-53.Google Scholar
  30. Reynolds, R. W.: 1988, ‘A Real-Time Global Sea Surface Temperature Analysis’,J. Clim. 1, 75–86.Google Scholar
  31. Reynolds, R. W.: 1993, ‘Impact of Mount Pinatubo Aerosols on Satellite-Derived Sea Surface Temperatures’,J. Clim. 6, 768–774.Google Scholar
  32. Reynolds, R. W., Folland, C. K., and Parker, D. E.: 1989, ‘Biases in Satellite-Derived Sea-Surface-Temperature Data’,Nature 341, 728–731.Google Scholar
  33. Reynolds, R. W. and Smith, T. M.: 1994, ‘Improved Global Sea Surface Temperature Analyses Using Optimum Interpolation’,J. Clim. 7, 929–948.Google Scholar
  34. Reynolds, R. W. and Smith, T. M.: 1995, ‘A High Resolution Global Sea Surface Temperature Climatology’,J. Clim. 8, 1571–1583.Google Scholar
  35. Rowell, D. P., Folland, C. K., Maskell, K., and Ward, M. N.: 1995, ‘Variability of Summer Rainfall over Tropical North Africa (1906-92): Observations and Modelling’,Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 121, 669–704.Google Scholar
  36. Saunders, R. W., Smith, A. H., and Harrison, D. L.: 1993, ‘Sea-Surface Temperature Measurements by the ATSR’,Meteor. Mag. 122, 105–113.Google Scholar
  37. Schluessel, P., Emery, W. J., Grassl, H., and Mammen, T.: 1990, ‘On the Bulk-Skin Temperature Difference and Its Impact on Satellite Remote Sensing of Sea Surface Temperatures’,J. Geophys. Res. 95, 13341–13356.Google Scholar
  38. Smith, T. M., Reynolds, R. W., and Ropelewski, C. F.: 1994, ‘Optimal Averaging of Seasonal Sea Surface Temperatures and Associated Confidence Intervals (1860-1989)’,J. Clim. 7, 949–964.Google Scholar
  39. Trenberth, K. E., Christy, J. R., and Hurrell, J. W.: 1992, ‘Monitoring Global Monthly Mean Surface Temperatures’,J. Clim. 5, 1405–1423.Google Scholar
  40. Trenberth, K. E. and Hurrell, J. W.: 1994, ‘Decadal Atmosphere-Ocean Variations in the Pacific’,Clim. Dyn. 9, 303–319.Google Scholar
  41. WMO: 1956et seq., International List of Selected, Supplementary and Auxiliary Ships, WMO No. 47, Geneva, published annually.Google Scholar
  42. WMO: 1992,Report of the Seventh Session of the CAS/JSC Working Group on Numerical Experimentation, WMO/ICSU, WCRP-70, WMO/TD No. 477, Geneva, pp. 27-28.Google Scholar
  43. Woodruff, S. D., Slutz, R. J., Jenne, R. L., and Steurer, P. M.: 1987, ‘A Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set’,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 68, 1239–1250.Google Scholar
  44. Wright, P. B.: 1986, ‘Problems in the Use of Ship Observations for the Study of Interdecadal Climate Changes’,Mon. Wea. Rev. 114, 1028–1034.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. E. Parker
    • 1
  • C. K. Folland
    • 1
  • M. Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Meteorological OfficeHadley CentreBracknell, BerksU.K.

Personalised recommendations