WATER - Ocean currents

Gulf stream

Gulf Stream (Atlantic).
MODIS/Terra (27/05/07).
Source: SSEC EOS Direct

Currents seen from space

On 25 May 2007, the MODIS instrument obtained this spectacular image of the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream influences the climate of the east coast of North America and the west coast of Europe.

The false colours in the image represent the "brightness temperature" values, which combine the heat radiation received from the sea surface and from the overlying moist atmosphere.

The red pixels indicate the warmer waters (approx. 25°C) moving along with the current.

Question: Why study ocean currents from space ?