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ESA Sea Surface Temperature Climate Change Initiative (SST_cci): Level 4 Analysis Climate Data Record, version 2.1

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 2019-06-20
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Citable
Publication Date: 2019-08-02
DOI Publication Date: 2019-08-22
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 25.81K Files | 416GB

This dataset has been superseded. See Latest Version here

This v2.1 SST_cci Level 4 Analysis Climate Data Record (CDR) provides a globally-complete daily analysis of sea surface temperature (SST) on a 0.05 degree regular latitude - longitude grid. It combines data from both the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR ) and Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) SST_cci Climate Data Records, using a data assimilation method to provide SSTs where there were no measurements. These data cover the period between 09/1981 and 12/2016.

The dataset has been produced as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative Sea Surface Temperature project(ESA SST_cci). The data products from SST_cci accurately map the surface temperature of the global oceans over the period 1981 to 2016 using observations from many satellites. The data provide independently quantified SSTs to a quality suitable for climate research.

The CDR Version 2.1 product supercedes the CDR Version 2.0 product. Data are made freely and openly available under a Creative Commons License by Attribution (CC By 4.0)

When citing this dataset please also cite the associated data paper: Merchant, C.J., Embury, O., Bulgin, C.E., Block T., Corlett, G.K., Fiedler, E., Good, S.A., Mittaz, J., Rayner, N.A., Berry, D., Eastwood, S., Taylor, M., Tsushima, Y., Waterfall, A., Wilson, R., Donlon, C. Satellite-based time-series of sea-surface temperature since 1981 for climate applications, Scientific Data 6:223 (2019).

Citable as:  Good, S.A.; Embury, O.; Bulgin, C.E.; Mittaz, J. (2019): ESA Sea Surface Temperature Climate Change Initiative (SST_cci): Level 4 Analysis Climate Data Record, version 2.1. Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, 22 August 2019. doi:10.5285/62c0f97b1eac4e0197a674870afe1ee6.
Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: SST, ESA Climate Change Initiative


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
No related previous identifiers.
Access rules:
Public data: access to these data is available to both registered and non-registered users.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data were processed by the ESA CCI SST project team and supplied to the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) for archiving in the context of the ESA CCI Open Data Portal project and the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO).

Data Quality:
As provided by the CCI SST team
File Format:
Data are in NetCDF format

Citations: 7

The following citations have been automatically harvested from external sources associated with this resource where DOI tracking is possible. As such some citations may be missing from this list whilst others may not be accurate. Please contact the helpdesk to raise any issues to help refine these citation trackings.

Chakraborty, T., Pattnaik, S., Baisya, H., & Vishwakarma, V. (2022). Investigation of Ocean Sub-Surface Processes in Tropical Cyclone Phailin Using a Coupled Modeling Framework: Sensitivity to Ocean Conditions. Oceans, 3(3), 364–388.
Chamberlain, M. A., Oke, P. R., Fiedler, R. A. S., Beggs, H. M., Brassington, G. B., & Divakaran, P. (2021). Next generation of Bluelink ocean reanalysis with multiscale data assimilation: BRAN2020. Earth System Science Data, 13(12), 5663–5688.
Chollett, I., Escovar‐Fadul, X., Schill, S. R., Croquer, A., Dixon, A. M., Beger, M., Shaver, E., Pietsch McNulty, V., & Wolff, N. H. (2022). Planning for resilience: Incorporating scenario and model uncertainty and trade‐offs when prioritizing management of climate refugia. Global Change Biology, 28(13), 4054–4068. Portico.
Elipot, S., Sykulski, A., Lumpkin, R., Centurioni, L., & Pazos, M. (2022). A dataset of hourly sea surface temperature from drifting buoys. Scientific Data, 9(1).
Merchant, C. J., Embury, O., Bulgin, C. E., Block, T., Corlett, G. K., Fiedler, E., Good, S. A., Mittaz, J., Rayner, N. A., Berry, D., Eastwood, S., Taylor, M., Tsushima, Y., Waterfall, A., Wilson, R., & Donlon, C. (2019). Satellite-based time-series of sea-surface temperature since 1981 for climate applications. Scientific Data, 6(1).
Meroni, A. N., Desbiolles, F., & Pasquero, C. (2022). Introducing New Metrics for the Atmospheric Pressure Adjustment to Thermal Structures at the Ocean Surface. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127(16). Portico.
Pauthenet, E., Bachelot, L., Balem, K., Maze, G., Tréguier, A.-M., Roquet, F., Fablet, R., & Tandeo, P. (2022). Four-dimensional temperature, salinity and mixed-layer depth in the Gulf Stream, reconstructed from remote-sensing and in situ observations with neural networks. Ocean Science, 18(4), 1221–1244.

Process overview

This dataset was generated by the computation detailed below.

Derivation of the ESA CCI Sea Surface Temperature Level 4 product (CDR v2)


The L4 Sea Surface Temperature Analysis data produced by the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) consistes of daily, spatially complete estimated daily SST data, derived using the Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) processing system. This creates the L4 data from the ATSR and AVHRR Level 2 and Level 3 data sets also produced in the SST CCI.

For further information please see the SST CCI product user guide.

Input Description


Output Description


Software Reference


  • units: degrees_north
  • var_id: lat_bnds
  • long_name: Latitude cell boundaries
  • names: Latitude cell boundaries
  • units: degrees_east
  • var_id: lon_bnds
  • long_name: Longitude cell boundaries
  • names: Longitude cell boundaries
  • var_id: time_bnds
  • long_name: Time cell boundaries
  • names: Time cell boundaries
  • units: kelvin
  • standard_name: sea_water_temperature
  • var_id: analysed_sst
  • long_name: analysed sea surface temperature
  • names: sea_water_temperature, analysed sea surface temperature
  • units: kelvin
  • standard_name: sea_water_temperature_anomaly
  • long_name: analysed sea surface temperature anomaly
  • var_id: analysed_sst_anomaly
  • names: sea_water_temperature_anomaly, analysed sea surface temperature anomaly
  • units: kelvin
  • long_name: estimated error standard deviation of analysed_sst
  • standard_name: sea_water_temperature standard_error
  • var_id: analysis_uncertainty
  • names: sea_water_temperature standard_error, estimated error standard deviation of analysed_sst
  • var_id: mask
  • long_name: land sea ice lake bit mask
  • names: land sea ice lake bit mask
  • units: 1
  • standard_name: sea_ice_area_fraction
  • var_id: sea_ice_fraction
  • long_name: sea ice area fraction
  • names: sea_ice_area_fraction, sea ice area fraction
  • var_id: mask
  • long_name: sea/land/lake/ice field composite mask
  • names: sea/land/lake/ice field composite mask

Co-ordinate Variables

  • units: degrees_north
  • standard_name: latitude
  • var_id: lat
  • long_name: Latitude
  • names: latitude, Latitude
  • units: degrees_east
  • standard_name: longitude
  • var_id: lon
  • long_name: Longitude
  • names: longitude, Longitude
  • units: degrees_north
  • standard_name: latitude
  • long_name: latitude
  • var_id: lat
  • names: latitude
  • units: degrees_east
  • standard_name: longitude
  • long_name: longitude
  • var_id: lon
  • names: longitude
  • standard_name: time
  • var_id: time
  • long_name: reference time of sst field
  • names: time, reference time of sst field
Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent