A fine spatial scale sea surface temperature atlas of the Australian regional seas (SSTAARS): seasonal variability and trends around Australasia and New Zealand revisited - Dr. Susan Wijffels (CSIRO)

Date & time

2–3pm 20 June 2017


Hales Room, J7


Dr. Susan Wijffels


 Taimoor Sohail

We use 25 years of Advanced High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data from NOAA Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites received by six Australian and two Antarctic reception stations to construct a detailed climatology of sea surface temperature at 20 cm depth around Australasia. The data have been processed following international GHRSST protocols to help reduce instrument bias using in situ data, with only night-time nearly cloud-free data used to reduce diurnal bias and cloud contamination. A pixel-wise climatology (with four annual sinusoids) and linear trend are fit to the data using a robust technique, and monthly non-seasonal percentiles also derived. The resulting atlas, known as the SST Atlas of Australian Regional Seas (SSTAARS) has a spatial resolution of ~2km, and thus reveals unprecedented detail of regional oceanographic phenomena, including tidally-driven entrainment cooling over shelves and reef flats, wind-driven upwelling, shelf winter water fronts, cold river plumes, the footprint of the seasonal boundary current flows and standing mesoscale features in the major offshore currents.  The atlas (and associated statistics) will prove a challenging target for high-resolution ocean modelers and be a resource for ecosystem studies where temperatures, and their extremes, impact on ocean chemistry, species ranges and distribution.

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