ESA's Climate Change Initiative for Sea Surface Temperature
Merchant, Christopher1; Rayner, Nick2; Corlett, Gary3; Boettcher, Martin4; Roquet, Herve5; Eastwood, Steinar6; H°yer, Jacob7; Spinks, Paul8; Donlon, Craig9
1University of Edinburgh/Reading, UNITED KINGDOM; 2UK Met Office, UNITED KINGDOM; 3University of Leicester, UNITED KINGDOM; 4Brockmann Consult, GERMANY; 5Meteo-France, FRANCE; 6Met No, NORWAY; 7DMI, DENMARK; 8Space Connexions, UNITED KINGDOM; 9ESA, NETHERLANDS

The European Space Agency created the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) to maximize the usefulness of Earth Observations to climate science. Sea surface temperature (SST) is an essential climate variable to which satellite observations make a crucial contribution, and is one of the projects within the CCI programme. This presentation gives an overview of the SST CCI project, focussing on innovations intended to create a valuable and unique climate data record (CDR) for SST. A CDR must have sufficient ''consistency ... in time and space to determine climate variability and change''. In SST CCI, the target is to bring SSTs from all included satellites to be (i) consistent with each other at the level of 0.1 K, and (ii) biased less than 0.1 K for all regions across the global oceans. Another crucial aspect is consistency in time, and the target for the stability of observation is 5 mK/yr. Lastly, to maximize the benefit to climate users, the data record is realised independently of in situ observations. To achieve this across 20 years, 3 Along Track Scanning Radiometers (ATSRs) and 8 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRRs), the project team has developed a new, consistent SST retrieval method and multi-sensor techniques. The presentation will present the SST CCI datasets, which include satellite swath data, gridded SSTs and a re-analysis product that is spatio-temporally complete. We will show comparisons of the SST CCI products with previous records and illustrate their use within climate applications.