Friday, 6 June 2014

Give us local expert feedback!

The annual GHRSST science team meeting has just finished. The meeting was held in Cape Town, and it was great to learn about the interesting ocean dynamics around the coasts of southern Africa and the practical uses to which satellite SST datasets are put. Mostly in the SST CCI project we focus on global scale assessment of our products, but this meeting was useful in raising the issue of long-term variability and change in the datasets at small scales in coastal regions. For example, in the image below, upwelling regions off the western cape are resolved in the SST CCI analysis dataset  (narrow stretch of colder water running north along the coast from Cape Town). The fidelity of the variability in this feature from weeks to decades has never been assessed by us specifically: although regional applications of SST CCI data were tested in the Climate Assessment Report, none of the trail-blazer users were focussed on this oceanographically interesting area. Changes in SST in this region have practical implications for fisheries and coastal industry. Users of our data please note: if you work with our data and get insight into its utility or limitations in specific areas like this, we would like to hear from you, it is useful feedback!

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