Spring 2006 Update: Annual Sea Surface Temperature


The four shelf subareas show similar temporal trends in SST; however, the temperature levels between subareas are different. SST in the GOM averaged 9.6°C over the period whereas temperature in the MAB averaged 15.2°C; the SSTs on GB and in SNE were intermediate between these values. Though all four subareas show an increase in temperature around the year 2000 and a subsequent decrease during the past five years, the relative magnitude of the change is greatest in the GOM and on GB. The 2000 peak in the temperature represents a 10% increase over SSTs at the beginning of the time series in the GOM whereas it only represents a 4% increase in the MAB. Despite these regional differences in average surface temperature, the general trend in SST, as assessed by satellite sensors for the whole shelf, is representative of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem.

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