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MEDSPIRATION:The temperature at the surface of the ocean can be measured quite easily from EO Satellites.
2005-05-12
The temperature at the surface of the ocean is an important physical property that can be measured quite easily from Earth Observation satellites.

Surface Temperature has a strong influence on the exchange of heat, momentum, water and gases between the ocean and the atmosphere. Knowledge of the geographical distribution of SST and its variation with time is therefore essential for predicting the dynamical behaviour of the atmosphere and the ocean. SST is also an important indicator of climate and climate change, giving us a finger on the pulse of the planet itself.

The large volume of data acquired from twenty years of satellite observations of SST has given scientists a uniquely detailed view of the changing physical characteristics of the surface of the oceans, sampled at a rate impossible to achieve with only ship based observations.

Today the entire planet is observed at least once a day by various satellite sensors. Demands are increasing to frequently update measurements of SST for use in near-real time to drive ocean forecasting models, and for numerical weather prediction. At the same time the use of SST as a measure of climate change requires measurements of high accuracy.

The Medspiration Project is a European initiative to combine data measured independently by several different satellite systems into a set of data products that represent the best measure of SST, presented in a form that can be assimilated into ocean forecasting models.

Medspiration project is the development and demonstration of a European service for the Sea Surface Temperature User community, federated by the GODAE High Resolution Sea surface Temperature Pilot Project.

During the whole 2004 and the beginning of 2005, Medspiration team has worked to conceive the best architecture between NOC, IFREMER and CMS to deliver the European component of GHRST-PP.

Medspiration generates and disseminates Mediterranean and Atlantic area data products since the 1st of December 2004.

MEDSPIRATION first service:

The Medspiration service is operational since 1st December 2004. Data from February 2005 were delivered to the users during a beta test period. This was the first exposure of the SST data products to operational users. The data has been ingested in operational SST and Sea-Ice analysis models, and the first results are very promising. All results from the Beta test user were presented and analyzed during the first user consultation meeting. The users insisted on the priority of having a sustained production for the development of the utilization of the Medspiration service.

Future development and production:

Following users advice, the Medspiration project foresees and extensive demonstration phase of two year that would allow the user to invest the time and resources required to assimilate Medspiration products During this phase the user community will be regularly consulted to give their analysis to optimise the quality of the products and services.

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