The Arctic is a strategic area for numerical weather prediction as well as for climate studies due to the recent changes in ice cover, the lack of in situ observations and the Arctic amplification with respect to global warming.

These issues were debated during the EarthTemp meeting in Copenhagen for all kind of surfaces, and we now wish to focus on SST. Satellite derived Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) are a major input to operational SST analysis. On the other hand, "Physical" SST retrieval methods using simulated brightness temperatures rely on operational analysis products as guess fields, so mutual interdependency increases. There are indeed specific SST retrieval issues in the Arctic such as: difficult cloud/ice identification, extreme atmospheric conditions, diurnal warming unknowns and the lack of in situ measurements. All these factors impact both satellite SST retrievals and operational analysis.

For the scientists in charge of the corresponding developments, the Arctic is at present the most problematic region of the world ocean. We believe that a joint effort of remote sensing, analysis and Arctic experts could lead to significant progress in that domain. A workshop has been organized in the framework of the EarthTemp project to give an overview of the problems encountered and to try to organize a joint effort to solve the issues. The workshop has been organized in 4 sessions over 2 days:

  • Session 1 (summary by H. Roquet) reviewed the results obtained by operational producers or reprocessing efforts of SST data in the Arctic.
  • Session 2 (summary by E. Fiedler) presented the results of the European SST analysis covering the Arctic, namely OSTIA, ODYSSEA and the DMI/ analysis.
  • Session 3 (summary by S. Eastwood) addressed the SST variability in the region, essentially induced by diurnal warming
  • Session 4 (summary by J. Høyer) has been devoted to develop solutions and to organize a joint effort.

The full report of the outcomes is available as a PDF document (3.0Mb)

The corresponding presentations are available on the Arctic SST Wiki