NASA Global Sea Surface Temperature Model

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By showing variations in sea surface temperature generated from a NASA computer model, this animation depicts the swirling waters of the Atlantic Ocean throughout the year.

While the coldest areas (shown in blue) remain at the poles and the warmest areas (shown in red) remain at the equator, many of the seasonal variations linked to the ocean are visible. The warmest water can be seen expanding from the equator during the summer. The East Coast of the U.S. warms steadily during the summer months and then cools in the fall and winter.

Also visible are ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream, which transports warm Gulf of Mexico water up the East Coast. Along the edges of many of the currents, ocean eddies (small whirlpools) can be seen mixing and dispersing waters of variable temperatures. Ocean eddies also appear along coasts, where land is an obstacle in the path of the water.

Related Web Sites:

Science on a Sphere: NASA Global Sea Surface Temperature Model

Science on a Sphere: Dataset Pictures and Movies Gallery