We are currently using two sources of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data. One set of SST data is from the JPL PO.DAAC - Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center. AVHRR SST data is available from here using ftp. It is stored in binary files, each file a weekly SST average. These files are available for the years1981 to 1998.
Our second source contains the SST averages for each of the 12 months over a period of years. This data was acquired from the Behrenfeld/Falkowski group mentioned above. We downloaded this data from their web site (currently being reactivated). They got the data from the following source:
Marine climatic atlas of the world, version 1.0. Asheville, NC, Naval Oceanography Command Detachment, 1992. CD-ROM.
Yunquing ("Phoebe") Zhang of the OBIS group at Rutgers University has used the above data to calculate the seasonal variation of Global SST. The calculation is based on the monthly JPL AVHRR SST (referred in last section) data from January 1989 to December 1994. The month-to-month variance was first obtained for each year and then averaged over the six years. The interannual variation of month-to-month variances was also calculated, though caution is suggested in using this data because the sampling period is only six years.