Warm oceans lead to record September warmth for Alaska maritime locations.

As sea level has changed, so has the way we measure it. Here’s a look at some of the technologies climate and marine scientists have used to track Earth’s tides and global sea level over the past two centuries.

The globally averaged sea surface temperature in 2013 was among the 10 highest on record, with the North Pacific reaching an historic high temperature. ENSO-neutral conditions and a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation pattern had the largest impacts on global sea surface temperature in 2013.

Large-scale patterns of sea surface salinity in 2013 mirrored the overall trend seen from 2004 to 2013: salty, dry areas are becoming increasingly salty, and fresher areas are becoming increasingly fresh.

Upper ocean heat content has increased significantly over the past two decades. An estimated 70 percent of the excess heat has accumulated in the top 2,000 feet of the ocean, and the rest has flowed into deeper ocean layers.

2013 continued a trend of water vapor in the surface atmosphere increasing over land and ocean relative to the 1970s, while the atmosphere over land becomes less saturated. 

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