- The global average Sea Surface Temperature (SST) reached 21.1° Celsius (C) according to data released by Climate Change Institute at University of Maine.
- In the Indian Ocean, it was 29 to 31° C on April 16 – which is 1-2° C above normal.
- Due to this, there are patches of strong marine heat waves over the south Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.
About Sea Surface Temperature
- SST is the water temperature close to the ocean’s surface.
- It varies mainly with latitude, warmest near equator and coldest at poles.
- It provides fundamental information on the global climate system.
- It helps in the study of marine ecosystems, weather prediction and atmospheric model simulations; including the onset of El Niño and La Niña cycles, i.e. the Warm and Cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific—the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
- Reasons Behind SST Rise: Global Warming (Climate Change), high solar radiation combined with certain ocean dynamics etc.
- Impact: Helping in the onset of Monsoon and rain through development of low-pressure systems, Coral Bleaching and Fish mortality.
Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT)
- OMT is measured up to a depth of 26-degree C isotherm, is more stable and consistent, and the spatial spread is also less.
- The 26-degree C isotherm is seen at depths varying from 50–100 metres.
- Scientist have found out that OMT which is analysed by measuring the ocean thermal energy during the January-March period – can better predict Indian summer monsoon than the SST.