USGS - science for a changing world

Geology Discipline staff

Global sea-surface temperature and sea-ice concentration: data display software

Part of my work with the USGS Global Change Research Program entailed developing data sets that show a composite average of the seasonal changes in temperature and sea-ice concentration in the modern world oceans:

To develop these data sets, I carried out relatively simple calculations on satellite data collected by NOAA. But to make sure these calculations were done right, I needed to display and inspect them. The display software I wrote to do this has become interesting in its own right, because it shows some of the general characteristics of ocean circulation.

Recently I've been able to update these display programs so that they work in current computer systems (Linux, Microsoft Windows, and MacOS X). I've created downloadable packages containing the software, the most interesting images, and of course the complete metadata.

Each display program prompts first for the oceanic region that you want to show, then produces a window like those shown below. A map image is given on the left side of the window, a table of months on the right, and a graph below the table. You can click anywhere on the map image to see the seasonal variability at that location, and you can click on a month name in the table to show the map image for that month. Using the Cycle choice in the View menu, you can loop through the images in sequence. A grid showing latitude and longitude can be superimposed on the image as well, by pressing 'G' or selecting "Show Grid" from the View menu.

Sea-ice concentration

screen-capture image of sea-ice display program

The original data were collected between 1979 and 1992. The measurements are derived from passive microwave reflectance. The software shows composite monthly averages, meaning that there are twelve images, each combining data of the same month from all years. Both Arctic and Antarctic regions are included.

System Download Size Type
MS Windows ice.exe 1.5 Mb Executable program (Tcl/Tk starpack)
Linux x86 ice.bin 1.6 Mb Executable program (Tcl/Tk starpack)
Mac OSX ice-viewer.dmg.gz 1.9 Mb Compressed disk image containing application

Sea-surface temperature

screen-capture image of sea-surface temperature display program

The original data were collected between 1981 and 1990. The measurements are derived from infrared sensors (AVHRR). The software shows composite monthly averages, meaning that there are twelve images, each combining data of the same month from all years. Nine oceanic regions are included.

System Download Size Type
MS Windows sst.exe 7.2 Mb Executable program (Tcl/Tk starpack)
Linux x86 sst.bin 7.3 Mb Executable program (Tcl/Tk starpack)
Mac OSX sst-viewer.dmg.gz 7.6 Mb Compressed disk image containing application

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