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Land surface temperature is a measurement of how hot the land is to the touch. It differs from air temperature (the temperature given in weather reports) because land heats and cools more quickly than air. This image depicts average monthly land surface temperature in degrees Celsius as measured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The warmest temperatures are pale yellow, while the coldest temperatures are dark blue. Moderate temperatures are depicted in shades of pink and purple. Regions where land surface temperature measurements were not possible are gray.
Sea surface temperature refers to the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean. An anomaly is a departure from average conditions. These maps compare temperatures in a given month to the long-term average temperature of that month from 1985 through 1997. Blue shows temperatures that were cooler than average, white shows near-average temperatures, and red shows where temperatures were warmer than average. Regions for which no data were available are gray. The maps are made from data collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) compared to historical data collected by a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites.
View, download, or analyze more of these data from NASA Earth Observations (NEO):
Land Surface Temperature
Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly