Tropical storms are a major threat in many countries. The ocean plays a major role in tropical storm generation, their frequency, duration and intensity against a backdrop of a warming world.
The addition of ocean observing satellites enables better forecasting of their trajectories and intensity.
Sentinel 3 and its cutting-edge sensors are opening new avenues for monitoring our oceans. It is important to have a good understanding of the accuracy and the uncertainty of these observations, so scientists compare in-situ data coming from drifting buoys and other satellite data.
Combining datasets of sea surface temperature measurements from different satellites over time gives a valuable insight into the temperature changes of the ocean. The intensity of a tropical storm is directly influenced by the rise in sea surface temperature. This means changes in the temperature of the ocean have direct effects on the intensity of tropical storms.
Optional mini task:
To view active storms download the Living Earth mobile app (only compatible with Apple devices) and use the storm symbol on the bottom tool bar to see where active storms are currently located. Alternatively view the US National Hurricane Center.
Where are the current storms that you can see? How strong are they?
Optional further reading
Explore the data
EUMETSAT Oceans MOOC Data Viewer
View featured satellites on the satellite tracking app
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