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Sea Surface Temperature and the Agulhas Current

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This visualization from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 shows sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with the Agulhas Current near South Africa at 1-kilometer (~0.6 mile) resolution. The Agulhas Current is a western boundary current that transports warm water southward in the Indian Ocean along the west coast of Africa. Near South Africa the current retroflects (or turns back on itself), called the Agulhas Retroflection, due to interactions with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Eddies that form as a result of Agulhas Retroflection are clearly visible in the animation.

The Multi-scale Ultra-high Resolution (MUR) SST dataset, used to create this visualization, combines data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), and WindSat Polarimetric Radiometer. (MUR SST DOI: 10.5067/GHGMR-4FJ04).