NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI Daily Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (SST) version 2.0 (DOISST v2.0) is a blend of in situ ship and buoy SSTs with satellite SSTs derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). DOISST v2.0 exhibited a cold bias in the Indian Ocean, South Pacific, and South Atlantic due to a lack of ingested drifting-buoy SSTs in the system, which resulted from a gradual data format change from the Traditional Alphanumeric Codes (TAC) to the Binary Universal Form for the Representation of meteorological data (BUFR). The cold bias against Argo was about -0.14°C on global average and -0.28°C in the Indian Ocean from January 2016 to August 2019.

We explored the reasons for these cold biases through six progressive experiments. These experiments showed that the cold biases can be effectively reduced by adjusting ship SSTs with available buoy SSTs, using the latest available ICOADS R3.0.2 derived from merging BUFR and TAC, as well as by including Argo observations above 5 m depth. The impact of using satellite MetOp-B instead of NOAA-19 was notable on high-latitude oceans but small on global average, since their biases are adjusted using in situ SSTs. In addition, the warm SSTs in the Arctic were improved by applying freezing-point instead of regressed ice-SST proxy.

This paper describes an upgraded version, DOISST v2.1, which addresses biases in v2.0. Overall, by updating v2.0 to v2.1, the biases are reduced to -0.07°C (-0.04°C) and -0.14°C (-0.08°C) in the global and Indian Ocean, respectively, when compared against independent (dependent) Argo observations. The difference against the Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST) multi-product ensemble (GMPE) product is reduced from -0.09°C to -0.01°C in the global oceans and from -0.20°C to -0.04°C in the Indian Ocean.

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