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Data Sources

The United States satellite measurement program for sea surface temperature, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has gathered global measurements daily since 1979. This visualization uses global measurements of sea surface temperature obtained by two satellite sensors (NOAA's AVHRR and NASA's AMSR-E) as well as ocean buoys, which are processed by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. The piece opens with sea surface temperature measurements taken from January 2007 to April 2010, followed by sea surface temperature anomaly data, which indicate areas that are hotter or colder than normal (a 30-year average). The visualization also includes infrared satellite observations of global cloud patterns. The global composite is obtained from five geosynchronous satellites (GOES-East, GOES-West, Meteosat-9, Meteosat-7, and MT-SAT) and is processed by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.