AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.0 global 4km sea surface temperature (SST) climatologies for 1985-2001

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The 4 km Pathfinder effort at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) is an extension of and improvement on the sea surface temperature (SST) fields from the NOAA/NASA AVHRR Oceans 9km Pathfinder dataset. In this 4 km Pathfinder project, some important shortcomings in the original 9 km data have been corrected, and the entire time series has been reprocessed at the 4 km Global Area Coverage (GAC) level, the highest resolution possible globally. Pathfinder AVHRR SST data for daily, 5-day, 7-day, 8-day, monthly, and yearly periods from 1981-2008 are archived at the National Oceanographic Data Center under separate accession numbers. The SST climatologies are available as Hierarchical Data Format (.HDF) data files for 1985-2001 and include daily, 5-day, 7-day, 8-day, monthly, yearly, and seasonal time periods which are filed as separate NODC accessions. Four corresponding graphics (climatologies) in GeoTIFF format are provided for the seasonal climatologies. Although the data are represented using 16-bit in the .HDF files, 8-bit GeoTIFF files were developed to facilitate access and use of these data by the widest variety of users. As a result, the GeoTIFF representations of the .HDF files are not a complete representation of the data in the .HDF files.
  • Cite as: Casey, Kenneth; Kearns, Edward J.; Halliwell, Vicki; Evans, Robert (2011). AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.0 global 4km sea surface temperature (SST) climatologies for 1985-2001. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
  • Please refer to Credit tab for full citation information.
gov.noaa.nodc:AVHRR_Pathfinder-NODC-v5.0-climatologies
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Distribution Formats
  • HDF (Version: 4)
    • File Specification: NCSA Hierarchical Data Format (HDF 4), Scientific Data Set (HDF-SDS)
  • JPEG
    • File Specification: Joint Photographic Experts Group file format
Ordering Instructions Data may be searched and downloaded using online services provided by NCEI using the online resource URLs in this record. Contact NCEI Information Services for custom orders. When requesting data from NCEI, the desired data set may be referred to by the unique package identification number listed in this metadata record.
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Information Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Time Period 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
Spatial Reference System urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::4326
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 90
S: -90
E: 180
W: -180
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Associated Resources
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2011-01-21
  • revision: 2011-03-03
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
The 4 km-resolution time series used to create these seasonal climatologies is computed from 1985-2001 using the Version 5.0 Pathfinder algorithm, an improved version of the previously most successful of the many methods used to derive SST from AVHRR observations (see Barton (1995) for a review of earlier techniques), the University of Miami Pathfinder version v4.2 SST algorithm (described fully in Kilpatrick et al., 2001).

The v4.2 algorithm offered marked improvement over operational retrieval algorithms such as MCSST and was applied to AVHRR data to maximize accuracy and to minimize artificial fluctuations arising from the sequence of AVHRR instruments flown on NOAA's polar-orbiting satellites during the past 2 decades. The 9 km v4.2 Pathfinder SSTs have already been shown to be the highest quality product currently available for the construction of global climatologies (Casey and Cornillon, 1999) and longer-term SST trend determination (Casey and Cornillon, 2001), and have been demonstrated to be accurate within about 0.3 degrees C under optimal conditions (Kearns et al., 2000). Relative to the older 9 km v4.2 Pathfinder data, the new, ~ 4 km resolution Pathfinder Version 5.0 global SSTs increase detail by a factor of four simply by virtue of the increased resolution. The increase in detail over widely used but relatively coarse SST datasets such as Optimally Interpolated SST Version 2 (OISSTv2; Reynolds et al., 2002) and the Hadley Centre's Global Sea Ice and SST (HadISST1; Rayner et al., 2003) is far greater.

In addition to the increased resolution, significant improvements have been made in the Version 5.0 which enhance the usefulness of the SST fields. Currently, these enhancements include the use of sea ice in the quality level determination scheme, inclusion of many inland water bodies, and the use of a greatly improved land mask. The greatest improvements are seen in coastal zones, marginal seas, and boundary current regions where SST gradients are often large and their impact on operational or research products is greatest. Separate SST products for daytime and nighttime AVHRR retrievals are made to better understand the differences in skin and bulk temperatures, since mean differences between AVHRR-measured skin temperatures and bulk temperatures of 0.1 to 0.2 degrees C (Schluessel et al., 1990) and locally varying differences of up to 1.8 degrees C (Minnett et al., 2000) have been observed.

The following is information to be used when reading geotiffs generated from the seasonal climatology data files:
Geotiff_Information: Version: 1
Key_Revision: 1.0
Tagged_Information:
ModelTiepointTag (2,3):0 0 0-180 90 0
ModelPixelScaleTag (1,3):0.0439453 0.0439453 0
End_Of_Tags.
Keyed_Information:
GTModelTypeGeoKey (Short,1): ModelTypeGeographic
GTRasterTypeGeoKey (Short,1): RasterPixelIsArea
GTCitationGeoKey (Ascii,17): 'LONG/LAT E005'
GeographicTypeGeoKey (Short,1): GCS_WGS_84
GeogAngularUnitsGeoKey (Short,1): Angular_Degree
ProjLinearUnitsGeoKey (Short,1): Linear_Meter
End_Of_Keys.
End_Of_Geotiff.
GCS: 4326/WGS 84
Datum: 6326/World Geodetic System 1984
Ellipsoid: 7030/WGS 84 (6378137.00,6356752.31)
Prime Meridian: 8901/Greenwich (0.000000/ 0d 0' 0.00""E)
Projection Linear Units: 9001/metre (1.000000m)
Corner Coordinates:
Upper Left (180d 0' 0.00"W, 90d 0' 0.00"N)
Lower Left (180d 0' 0.00"W, 90d 0' 0.00"S)
Upper Right (180d 0' 0.00"E, 90d 0' 0.00"N)
Lower Right (180d 0' 0.00"E, 90d 0' 0.00"S)
Center (0d 0' 0.00"E, 0d 0' 0.00"N)
Purpose To provide sea surface temperature data and related parameters with good temporal consistency, high accuracy and spatial resolution, and for archive and distribution through the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). This SST data collection is intended primarily for climate related applications and studies and is being established to help form the basis for a Climate Data Record for SST.
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Casey, Kenneth; Kearns, Edward J.; Halliwell, Vicki; Evans, Robert (2011). AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.0 global 4km sea surface temperature (SST) climatologies for 1985-2001. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
  • Please also cite: Casey, K.S., T.B. Brandon, P. Cornillon, and R. Evans (2010). "The Past, Present and Future of the AVHRR Pathfinder SST Program", in Oceanography from Space: Revisited, eds. V. Barale, J.F.R. Gower, and L. Alberotanza, Springer. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-8681-5_16
Cited Authors
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Resource Providers
Publishers
Acknowledgments
  • This project was supported in part by a grant from the NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) Program for satellites.
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef Monitoring and Assessment > Remote Sensing > Satellite (digital scans) > AVHRR
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Sea Surface Temperature > AVHRR
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Water Temperature
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science and Services Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > MARINE ECOSYSTEMS > COASTAL
  • EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > MARINE ECOSYSTEMS > REEF > CORAL REEF
  • EARTH SCIENCE > CLIMATE INDICATORS > ATMOSPHERIC/OCEAN INDICATORS > SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE INDICES
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > COASTAL PROCESSES > CORAL REEFS
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > OCEAN TEMPERATURE > SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Sea Surface Temperature > AVHRR
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Sea Surface Temperature > AVHRR > 4km Pathfinder
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Sea Surface Temperature > AVHRR > 9km Pathfinder
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Sea Surface Temperature > AVHRR > MCSST
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Ocean Temperature > Sea Surface Temperature > AVHRR > NLSST
  • EARTH SCIENCE > TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE > WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY > WATER CHARACTERISTICS > WATER TEMPERATURE
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS > National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS
Platform keywords NODC PLATFORM NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • NOAA-11 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-11
  • NOAA-14 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-14
  • NOAA-16 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-16
  • NOAA-9 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-9
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • AVHRR-2 > Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer-2
  • AVHRR-3 > Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer-3
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • GEOGRAPHIC REGION > GLOBAL OCEAN
Project keywords NODC PROJECT NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • NOAA/NASA PATHFINDER > NOAA/NASA Pathfinder Program
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Casey, Kenneth; Kearns, Edward J.; Halliwell, Vicki; Evans, Robert (2011). AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.0 global 4km sea surface temperature (SST) climatologies for 1985-2001. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
  • Please also cite: Casey, K.S., T.B. Brandon, P. Cornillon, and R. Evans (2010). "The Past, Present and Future of the AVHRR Pathfinder SST Program", in Oceanography from Space: Revisited, eds. V. Barale, J.F.R. Gower, and L. Alberotanza, Springer. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-8681-5_16
  • Please acknowledge the use of these data with the following statement: These data were provided by GHRSST and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
Access Constraints
  • NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Fees
  • Digital data may be downloaded from NCEI at no charge in most cases. For custom orders of digital data or to obtain a copy of analog materials, please contact NCEI Information Services for information about current fees.
Lineage information for: series
Processor
  • NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center
Processing Environment Native Dataset Environment: NCSA Hierarchical Data Format (HDF 4), Scientific Data Set (HDF-SDS) Technical Prerequisites: PC. Mac or other server (Unix, Linux), standard Internet browser. FTP capability
Source Datasets
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 Daily Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 Daily Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001) (NODC Accession 0006682)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 5-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 5-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001) (NODC Accession 0009534)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 7-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 7-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001) (NODC Accession 0009535)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 8-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 8-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001) (NODC Accession 0009536)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 Annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 Annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001) (NODC Accession 0009537)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 Monthly Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Monthly Climatologies (1985-2001) (NODC Accession 0009538)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
  • Pathfinder Version 5.0 Seasonal Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Climatologies (1985-2001)
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 Seasonal Climatologies 1985-2001 (NODC Accession 0001658)
    • Temporal extent used: 1985-01-01 to 2001-12-31
Lineage information for: series
Processing Steps
  • 2011-01-21T18:27:18 - NCEI Accession 0006682 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-01-21T18:29:23 - NCEI Accession 0009534 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-01-21T18:30:49 - NCEI Accession 0009535 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-01-21T18:32:08 - NCEI Accession 0009536 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-01-21T18:32:12 - NCEI Accession 0009537 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-01-21T18:32:33 - NCEI Accession 0009538 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-03-03T22:11:25 - NCEI Accession 0001658 v1.1 was published.
  • 2011-03-03T22:11:25 - NCEI Accession 0001658 was revised and v2.2 was published.
Processing Environment Native Dataset Environment: NCSA Hierarchical Data Format (HDF 4), Scientific Data Set (HDF-SDS) Technical Prerequisites: PC. Mac or other server (Unix, Linux), standard Internet browser. FTP capability
Output Datasets
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • AVHRR-2
  • AVHRR-3
Platform
  • NOAA-11
  • NOAA-14
  • NOAA-16
  • NOAA-9
Last Modified: 2018-08-08T21:52:52
For questions about the information on this page, please email: NODC.DataOfficer@noaa.gov