Concept

Sea surface temperature

Summary
Sea surface temperature (SST), or ocean surface temperature, is the ocean temperature close to the surface. The exact meaning of surface varies according to the measurement method used, but it is between and below the sea surface. Air masses in the Earth's atmosphere are highly modified by sea surface temperatures within a short distance of the shore. Localized areas of heavy snow can form in bands downwind of warm water bodies within an otherwise cold air mass. Warm sea surface temperatures are known to be a cause of tropical cyclogenesis over the Earth's oceans. Tropical cyclones can also cause a cool wake, due to turbulent mixing of the upper of the ocean. SST changes diurnally, like the air above it, but to a lesser degree. There is less SST variation on breezy days than on calm days. In addition, ocean currents, such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), can affect SST's on multi-decadal time scales, and a major impact results from the global thermohaline circulat
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