AR4 concluded that ‘recent’ warming (since the 1950s) is strongly evident at all latitudes in SST over each ocean. Prominent spatio-temporal structures including the ENSO and decadal variability patterns in the Pacific Ocean (Box 2.5) and a hemispheric asymmetry in the Atlantic Ocean were highlighted as contributors to the regional differences in surface warming rates, which in turn affect atmospheric circulation. Since AR4 the availability of metadata has increased, data completeness has improved and a number of new SST products have been produced. Intercomparisons of data obtained by different measurement methods, including satellite data, have resulted in better understanding of errors and biases in the record.

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