Movie:Monthly global temperature

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Information Page: Monthly global temperature

Play Animation

Global temperature

Key Attributes

Domain: environmental controls
Keywords: Monthly global temperature
Model name: reanalysis of CCMS
Name: Albert, Kettner
Where: Global
When: 1 year

Short Description

Grade level: High (9-12), Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: Simulated global mean monthly temperature

Abstract: This animation shows the global temperature fluctuation through one calendar year. Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius and is visualized using a color scale where colder temperatures are represented by colder colors (blues and greens) and warmer temperatures are represented by warmer colors (yellows and reds). Temperatures were aggregated and averaged by month and geographic location. The global shift in temperature is due to the change in seasons caused by the tilt in the earth’s rotational axis. As the northern and southern hemispheres become closer to the sun (their respective summers) the monthly mean temperature increases.


Global temperature distribution is derived from remote sensing data gathered from satellites. One of the instruments used in measuring land surface temperatures is ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) which is aboard the TERRA satellite. The orbiting satellites gather data regarding the reflection of various wavelength bands from earth’s surface which can then be used to create temperature profiles for a given region. These temperatures are then compared with local observing stations to validate and help calibrate the computed data. With global temperature data distributed over a large enough time scale, representative means can be created these means are then compiled to create global temperature profiles.

Links Accessed: August 9th, 2010