Sea Surface Temperature around Crete, 31 August 2003
Sea Surface Temperature around Crete, 30 August 2002
Our record-breaking long hot summer heated Europe’s seas as well as the land. Results returned from ESA’s Envisat environmental satellite show Mediterranean waters off Crete around three degrees Celsius warmer than the previous year.
The top image represents sea surface temperature around the island for 31 August 2003, while the second image shows it for 30 August 2002. The brighter the colour the higher the temperature: there is a five-degree difference between the two recorded in waters north of Crete, and a two-to-three degree difference south of Crete. The maximum (bright red) temperature shown in the two images is 25 degrees, the minimum (dark blue) is 16 degrees. Areas in black are either land or covered by cloud.
The data come from Envisat’s Advanced Along Track Radiometer (AATSR), which functions like a space-based thermometer. The instrument records infrared wavelengths of light to calculate sea surface temperature to an accuracy of 0.3 degrees and a spatial resolution of 1 sq km. The images were prepared for ESA by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Henri Laur | ESA
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