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GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (GDS versions 1 and 2)

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NASA produces skin sea surface temperature (SST) products from the Infrared (IR) channels of the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Aqua satellite. Aqua was launched by NASA on May 4, 2002, into a sun synchronous, polar orbit with a daylight ascending node at 1:30 pm, formation flying in the A-train with other Earth Observation Satellites (EOS), to study the global dynamics of the Earth atmosphere, land and oceans. MODIS captures data in 36 spectral bands at a variety of spatial resolutions. Two SST products can be present in these files. The first is a skin SST produced for both day and night (NSST) observations, derived from the long wave IR 11 and 12 micron wavelength channels, using a modified nonlinear SST algorithm intended to provide continuity of SST derived from heritage and current NASA sensors. At night, a second SST product is generated using the mid-infrared 3.95 and 4.05 micron wavelength channels which are unique to MODIS; the SST derived from these measurements is identified as SST4. The SST4 product has lower uncertainty, but due to sun glint can only be used at night. MODIS L2P SST data have a 1 km spatial resolution at nadir and are stored in 288 five minute granules per day. Full global coverage is obtained every two days, with coverage poleward of 32.3 degree being complete each day. The production of MODIS L2P SST files is part of the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) project and is a joint collaboration between the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG), and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). Researchers at RSMAS are responsible for SST algorithm development, error statistics and quality flagging, while the OBPG, as the NASA ground data system, is responsible for the production of daily MODIS ocean products. JPL acquires MODIS ocean granules from the OBPG and reformats them to the GHRSST L2P netCDF specification with complete metadata and ancillary variables, and distributes the data as the official Physical Oceanography Data Archive (PO.DAAC) for SST. The R2019.0 supersedes the previous R2014.0 datasets.
  • Cite as: US NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (JPL PO.DAAC) (2006). GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (GDS versions 1 and 2). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/archive/accession/GHRSST-MODIS_A-JPL-L2P. Accessed [date].
gov.noaa.nodc:GHRSST-MODIS_A-JPL-L2P
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Distribution Formats
  • netCDF (Version: netCDF-3)
    • File Specification: GDS-1.0r1.5, CF-1.0
    • File Compression: bzip2
  • netCDF (Version: netCDF-4)
    • File Specification: GDS-2.0, CF-1.6
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Distributor NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
+1-301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
ncei.info@noaa.gov
Time Period 2006-06-30 to 2022-01-24
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
West: -180
East: 180
South: -90
North: 90
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Associated Resources
  • GHRSST User Guide version 9.1
  • The Recommended GHRSST Data Specification (GDS) GDS 2.0 revision 5
  • Brown, O. B. & Minnett, P. J. (1999). MODIS Infrared Sea Surface Temperature Algorithm - Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document. Version 2.0. University of Miami. 91 pp.
  • NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (2016). Long-Wave Sea Surface Temperature (SST), NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG).
  • NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (2016). Short-Wave Sea Surface Temperature (SST4), NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG).
  • Ionin, Raisa; Hager, Lori. Data Stewardship Maturity Report for GHRSST Level 2P Global Skin Sea Surface Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (GDS versions 1 and 2). NOAA Technical Information Series NESDIS DSMR; 00123. 2021. https://doi.org/10.25923/p2yd-2m38
  • Kilpatrick, K. A., Podestá, G., Walsh, S., Williams, E., Halliwell, V., Szczodrak, M., Brown, O. B., Minnett, P. J., & Evans, R. (2015). A decade of sea surface temperature from MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment, 165, 27–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2015.04.023
  • JPL/OBPG/RSMAS (2020). GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (GDS2). https://doi.org/10.5067/ghmda-2pj19
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2006-09-13
  • revision: 2022-04-12
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Historical archive - data has been stored in an offline storage facility
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
This collection includes data from the following product(s): GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (GDS2) (MODIS_A-JPL-L2P-v2019.0); GHRSST Level 2P Global Skin Sea Surface Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (JPL-L2P-MODIS_A); GHRSST Level 2P Global Skin Sea Surface Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (MODIS_A-JPL-L2P-v2014.0).
Purpose This dataset is available to the public for a wide variety of uses including scientific research and analysis.
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: US NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (JPL PO.DAAC) (2006). GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Aqua satellite (GDS versions 1 and 2). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/archive/accession/GHRSST-MODIS_A-JPL-L2P. Accessed [date].
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Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
Data Center keywords NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
Platform keywords NODC PLATFORM NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords ICES/SeaDataNet Ship Codes
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
Project keywords NODC PROJECT NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER