I’ve mentioned before how chosen color schemes greatly influence how people see surface temperature data. Frank points out that sea surface temperature presentations suffer from the same problem. – Anthony
Guest post by Frank Lansner
This is no news – but still needs to be told. NOAA can in many contexts come up with the hottest temperatures available. Here we take a look at the European Sea Surface Temperatures as of 3 may 2010.
NOAA vs. UNISYS, SST, Europe. When I look at this compare, again and again I have to check if these SST are from the very same date, 3 may 2010. But they are. Differences are immense to an extend where it hardly makes sense to look after the European SST?
NOAA is hotter than UNISYS in for example these waters:
The Baltic Sea, The North Sea, The Caspian Sea,
And in addition,
The Black Sea has NOAA Approx. 3,5 K warmer than UNISYS, and
“The NOAA hotspot area” North of Scandinavia: NOAA Approx. 4 – 6 K warmer than UNISYS .
Is there a valid sound simple explanation for these great differences?
In addition NOAA uses a colour scheme that makes Europe look as if surrounded by burning lava. It’s quite a difference to the impression you get when looking at the UNISYS graphic.
So which graphic is correct? For the Baltic, here’s what the “jury” says, SMHI (From Sweden) has an updated SST for the Baltic Sea from exactly 3 may 2010:
The 3 graphics agree reasonably for the Northern Baltic Sea, but for the rest of the Baltic Sea, SMHI shows in average around – 1,5 degrees Celsius anomaly. Both UNISYS and NOAA show too warm temperatures, but NOAA far worse than UNISYS. So, NOAA is around 2 K warmer in this area than SMHI – the best estimate.
Europe is not the only area where NOAA has warmer temperatures than UNISYS. NOAA appears markedly warmer than UNISYS on the Northern Hemisphere – but a little colder than UNISYS in areas of the Southern Hemisphere:
Link to the daily UNISYS SST:
Link to NOAA SST – use “FULL GLOBAL” to see all:
Link to SMHI detailed SST for Baltic + Danish waters:
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