Greater global warming revealed by satellite-derived sea-surface-temperature trends


INVESTIGATING the response of global climate to changes in external forcing is essential to our understanding of climate change. Here I present an analysis of satellite-derived sea surface temperatures for the period 1982–88. It can be seen from this analysis that the global ocean is undergoing a gradual but significant warming of ˜0.1 °C per year, whereas the trend obtained for the same period from conventional data sources (ships and buoys) is about half that magnitude1. Satellite global coverage, however, is far greater and, although we have no long time series of satellite data (as opposed to conventional data), it is possible to observe short-term trends, as shown here, that may not be discerned using the coarser-resolution conventional data.

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Strong, A. Greater global warming revealed by satellite-derived sea-surface-temperature trends. Nature 338, 642–645 (1989).

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