A joint NOAA/NASA data set of sea surface temperature (SST) called “Pathfinder” was compiled in response to the question: What can be done to further global change research? It is now available online for use by the Earth science community at http://podaac-www.jpl.nasa.gov/.
The project was conceived as part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program activities and is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. It tapped the archives of existing satellite data, reprocessing all of the global coverage data acquired since 1981 by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRR). The result is a data set of high-resolution, global-gridded fields of SST, produced using improved AVHRR calibration corrections and community consensus algorithms for the correction of water vapor and clouds.