The ocean plays an enormous role in the climate system:
• 70% of the planet is covered by oceans. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth.
• The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it is home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world.
• Our economy with an estimated 40 million people employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
But how is the ocean doing?
Uhm… not well. We are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. And with the warming climate, the oceans have been soaking up much of this extra heat, keeping the atmosphere relatively cool. This has come at a cost. The temperature of the surface waters of our oceans is also at an all-time high.
How do we monitor the ocean?
Satellites orbiting overhead are being used to carefully track changes in the global sea-surface temperature (SST) and the sea-surface height. The satellites enable us to monitor the patterns that lead up to El Niño to further understand and predict the consequences of this cyclic phenomenon against the backdrop of climate change.
Monitoring sea-surface temperature is critical
It is important that researchers around the globe coordinate their efforts in monitoring the sea-surface temperature.
This is why almost 24 years ago, the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) was created.
What does GHRSST do?
Coordinates research and operational developments in satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST)
Promotes the application of satellites for monitoring SST by enabling SST data producers, users and scientists to collaborate within an agreed framework of best practices.