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University of Maine Climate Office


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Data

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine, Coastal



Gulf of Maine Daily Sea Surface Temperature

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  • This interactive graph and colorful map provide data about the daily sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine since 1981 and the current sea surface temperatures throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Students can hover over the graph to get detailed information for specific dates and the graph and supporting data can be downloaded in a variety of formats.
Teaching Tips


  • The data in the graph is specific to the Gulf of Maine and allows students to explore temperature differences throughout the year and between years.
  • Useful information about the data and its presentation is provided below the map, along with additional links.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The data for each year can be hovered over to highlight that year's temperatures, but if you click on that year, it will disappear in the chart. This allows you to deselect years you do not wish to view.


  • This resource could supplement a lesson on the basics of climate change and how humans are causing it.
  • This resource could augment a classroom discussion on how increases in saltwater temperatures are impacting marine ecosystems.
  • This resource could be used to create free-response questions on how humans could reduce sea surface temperatures around the world.
  • Have math students download the data and then create graphs that compare average annual sea surface temperatures between years or monthly average sea surface temperatures from the most recent year to 1981.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the Maine Climate Office shows daily sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Gulf of Maine and current sea surface temperatures in the Western Hemisphere. Students can select years of interest on the line graph and view the 1982-2011 daily mean ±2σ. Hovering over a point on the chart provides the SST for the day and year selected. This resource features clear, colorful figures which are easily searchable and all data and figures are available for download. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Mathematics
    • Functions: Interpreting Functions (9-12)
      • HSF.IF.B.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
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