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A new operational Mediterranean diurnal optimally interpolated sea surface temperature product within the Copernicus Marine Service

TitleA new operational Mediterranean diurnal optimally interpolated sea surface temperature product within the Copernicus Marine Service
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsPisano, A., Ciani D., Marullo S., Santoleri R., and B. Nardelli Buongiorno
JournalEarth System Science Data

Within the Copernicus Marine Service, a new operational MEDiterranean diurnal optimally interpolated sea surface temperature (MED DOISST) product has been developed. This product provides hourly mean maps (level 4) of subskin SST at 1/16 horizontal resolution over the Mediterranean Sea from January 2019 to the present. Subskin is the temperature at ∼1 mm depth of the ocean surface and then potentially subjected to a large diurnal cycle. The product is built by combining hourly SST data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on board the Meteosat Second Generation and model analyses from the Mediterranean Forecasting System (MedFS) through optimal interpolation. SEVIRI and MedFS (first layer) SST data are respectively used as the observation source and first guess. The choice of using a model output as first guess represents an innovative alternative to the commonly adopted climatologies or previous day analyses, providing physically consistent estimates of hourly SSTs. The accuracy of the MED DOISST product is assessed here by comparison against surface drifting buoy measurements covering the years 2019 and 2020. The diurnal cycle reconstructed from DOISST is in good agreement with the one observed by independent drifter data, with a mean bias of 0.041±0.001 K and root mean square difference (RMSD) of 0.412±0.001 K. The new SST product is more accurate than the input MedFS SST during the central warming hours, when the model, on average, underestimates drifter SST by 1/10 of a degree. The capability of DOISST to reconstruct diurnal warming events, which may reach intense amplitudes larger than 5 K in the Mediterranean Sea, is also analyzed. Specifically, a comparison with the Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) diurnal skin SST product, SEVIRI, MedFS, and drifter data shows that the DOISST product is able to reproduce more accurately diurnal warming events larger than 1 K. This product can contribute to improving the prediction capability of numerical models that assimilate or correct the heat fluxes starting from level 4 SST data and the monitoring of surface heat budget estimates and temperature extremes which can have significant impacts on the marine ecosystem. The full MED DOISST product (released on 4 May 2021) is available upon free registration at 10.48670/moi-00170 (CNR, 2021). The reduced subset used here for validation and review purposes is openly available at 10.5281/zenodo.5807729 (Pisano, 2021). © 2022 Andrea Pisano et al.


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Citation KeyPisano20224111