Sea Surface Temperature

Satellite sensors and thermometers on ships and buoys show that the temperature of water at the ocean's surface is rising. Warm surface waters can damage coral reefs, reducing opportunities for fishing and tourism, and leave coasts vulnerable to storm surges and erosion.

Data Trends

Sea Surface Temperature Time Series Data Plot

Feature Articles

As the Seasons Change, Will the Plankton?
To understand the planet's biggest food source—phytoplankton—and perhaps its most important sink for carbon dioxide, you've got to get out on the water.


El Niño
This National Geographic video explains the origins of the El Niño Southern Oscillation using animations and shows the impacts on humans, wildlife and habitat, particularly in the United States.
Coral Reefs in Hot Water
Coral Reefs in Hot Water is a short video displaying computerized data collected on the number of reefs impacted by coral bleaching around the world.
Ocean Tipping Point?
This video highlights research conducted at Woods Hole on how heat absorbed by the ocean and changes of ocean chemistry from human activities could lead to tipping point for marine life and...

Find Reviewed Sea Surface Temperature Related Educational Resources

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These resources come from the CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library. This collection provides a scientific and education reviewed collection of resources coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss teaching about climate and energy science. NOAA is a partner in the CLEAN project.
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