About the average sea surface temperature maps

Analyses available

Annual and seasonal average sea surface temperature (SST) maps are available for the Australian region. Long-term averages have been calculated over the standard 30-year period 1961-1990. A 30-year period is used as it acts to largely smooth out the year-to-year variations of climate.

Interpreting the analyses

The average sea surface temperature maps can be used in conjunction with the trend maps to provide an indication of how a trend compares to the long-term average. Due to the uncertainty of the interpolations procedure, data on or very near coastlines should be treated with some caution.

Data used

The sea surface temperature maps are calculated from the NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature Version 4 (ERSST v4) data provided by the NOAA/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/. A full description of the ERSST v4 data can be found in Huang et al.,(2014) and Liu et al.,(2014).

Please note that any use of the data analysed on these web pages should be acknowledged to the Bureau of Meteorology. Apart from the purposes of study, research, criticism and review, no part of these data may be reproduced, or redistributed for any commercial purposes, or distributed to a third party for such purpose, without written permission from the Director of Meteorology.


Further information

Huang, B., V.F. Banzon, E. Freeman, J. Lawrimore, W. Liu, T.C. Peterson, T.M. Smith, P.W. Thorne, S.D. Woodruff, and H.-M. Zhang, 2014: Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST.v4): Part I. Upgrades and intercomparisons. Journal of Climate, in press, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00006.1

Liu, W., B. Huang, P.W. Thorne, V.F. Banzon, H.-M. Zhang, E. Freeman, J. Lawrimore, T.C. Peterson, T.M. Smith, and S.D. Woodruff, 2014: Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST.v4): Part II. Parametric and structural uncertainty estimations. Journal of Climate, in press, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00007.1