The sea surface temperature is the temperature of the subsurface bulk temperature in the top few meters of the ocean, measured by ships, buoys, and drifters. From ships, measurements of water samples in buckets were mostly switched in the 1940s to samples from engine intake water. Satellite measurements of skin temperature (uppermost layer; a fraction of a millimeter thick) in the infrared or the top centimeter or so in the microwave are also used, but must be adjusted to be compatible with the bulk temperature. | Source: IPCC

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