GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Visible and Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite (GDS2)

1 Publication Cited this Dataset
Citation metrics available for years (2014-2022)
Processing Level2P
Start/Stop Date2011-Nov-21 to Present
Short NameVIIRS_NPP-JPL-L2P-v2016.2
DescriptionThese files contain NASA produced skin sea surface temperature (SST) products from the Infrared (IR) channels of the Visible and Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi-NPP satellite. VIIRS is a multi-disciplinary instrument that is also being flown on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) series of spacecraft, of which NOAA-20 is the first. JPSS is a multi-agency program that consolidates the polar orbiting spacecraft of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Suomi-NPP is the initial spacecraft in this series, and VIIRS is the successor to MODIS for Earth science data. VIIRS has 22 spectral bands ranging from 412 nm to 12 micron . There are 16 moderate-resolution bands (750m at nadir), 5 image-resolution bands (375 m), and one day-night band (DNB). VIIRS uses on-board pixel aggregation to reduce the growth in size of pixels away from nadir. Two SST products are contained in these files. The first is a skin SST produced separately for day and night 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 products from heritage and current NASA sensors. At night, a second triple channel SST product is generated using the 3.7 , 11 and 12 micron IR channels, identified as SST_triple. Due to the sun glint in the 3.7 micron SST_triple can only be used at night. VIIRS L2P SST data have a 750 spatial resolution at nadir and are stored in ~288 five minute granules per day. Full global coverage is obtained each day. The production of VIIRS NASA 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 were responsible for sea surface temperature algorithm development, error statistics and quality flagging, while the OBPG, as the NASA ground data system, is responsible for the production of VIIRS ocean products. JPL acquires VIIRS ocean granules from the OBPG and reformats them to the GHRSST L2P netCDF specification with complete metadata and is the official Physical Oceanography Data Archive (PO.DAAC) for SST. In mid-August, 2018, the RSMAS involvement in the VIIRS SST project ceased, and the subsequent fields are not maintained.The R2016.2 supersedes the previous v2016.0 datasets which can be found at
Swath Width3040 km
Name: Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP)
Orbit Period: 101.0 minutes
Inclination Angle: 97.1 degrees
Name: Visible-Infrared Imager-Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
Swath Width: 3040.0 kilometers
Description: Spacecraft angular distance from orbital plane relative to the Equator.

ProjectGroup for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST)
Data ProviderPublisher: PO.DAAC
Release Place: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CA, USA
Release Date: 2020-Feb-28

Keyword(s)GHRSST, L2P, SST, VIIRS, JPL, OBPG, S-NPP, v2016.2
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Spatial Resolution: 750 Meters x 750 Meters
Temporal Resolution: Hourly - < Daily
Region: GLOBAL
North Bounding Coordinate: 90 degrees
South Bounding Coordinate: -90 degrees
West Bounding Coordinate: -180 degrees
East Bounding Coordinate: 180 degrees
Time Span: 2011-Nov-21 to Present
Granule Time Span: 2012-Jan-05 to 2024-Jul-22
Swath Width: 3040 km
Projection Type: Satellite native swath
Projection Detail: Geolocation information included for each pixel
Ellipsoid: WGS 84
NameLong NameUnit
dt_analysisdeviation from SST reference climatologykelvin
l2p_flagsL2P flags
quality_levelquality level of SST pixel
quality_level_3chanquality level of 3 channel SST pixel
sea_surface_temperaturesea surface temperaturekelvin
sea_surface_temperature_3chansea surface temperature (3 channel)kelvin
sses_biasSSES (Sensor Specific Error Statistic) bias errorkelvin
sses_bias_3chanSSES (Sensor Specific Error Statistic) bias error for 3 channel SSTkelvin
sses_standard_deviationSSES (Sensor Specific Error Statistic) standard deviation errorkelvin
sses_standard_deviation_3chanSSES (Sensor Specific Error Statistic) standard deviation error for 3 channel SSTkelvin
sst_dtimetime difference from reference timeseconds
timereference time of sst fileseconds since 1981-01-01 00:00:00
wind_speed10m wind speedm s-1
Citation is critically important for dataset documentation and discovery. Please cite the data as follows, and cite the reference papers when it is appropriate.
Citation JPL/OBPG/RSMAS. 2020. GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Visible and Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite (GDS2). Ver. 2016.2. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at

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For more information see Data Citations and Acknowledgments.

Journal Reference Peter J. Minnett, Robert H. Evans, Guillermo P. Podestá, Katherine A. Kilpatrick. 2014. Sea-surface temperature from Suomi-NPP VIIRS: algorithm development and uncertainty estimation, Proceedings Volume 9111, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VI.