The world's ocean is heated at the surface by the sun, and this heating is uneven for many reasons. Earth's rotation, revolution around the sun, and tilt all play a role, as do the wind-driven ocean surface currents.This animation shows the long-term average sea surface temperature, with red and yellow depicting warmer waters and blue depicting colder waters.
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View this video to see the evolution of the SMAP sea surface salinity (SSS) and soil moisture responses to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria of 2017.