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Sea Surface Temperature (SST)

Ocean temperature is related to ocean heat content (the energy absorbed by the ocean), an important topic in the study of global warming. Monitoring of sea surface temperature (SST) from earth-orbiting infrared radiometers has had a wide impact on oceanographic science. It provides fundamental information on the global climate system and for the study of marine ecosystems. For example, it helps estimating heat stress conducive to coral bleaching, the process by which they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues and become white (bleached) and vulnerable. The NOAA Coral Reef Watch Daily Global 5km Satellite Sea Surface Temperature product (a.k.a. CoralTemp) measures the night-time ocean temperature at the sea surface, calibrated to 0.2 meters depth.