The purpose of this study was to characterise spatial and temporal patterns in sea surface temperatures in the Great Barrier Reef.
Annual mean sea surface temperatures (1 degrees latitude-longitude grid size) were derived from the monthly sea surface temperatures from the Global Sea surface Temperature database 'HadISST 1.1', from the Hadley Centre for Climate Research, United Kingdom Meteorological Office. Original HadISST data are based on smoothed and processed in situ sea instrument surface measurements and satellite derived estimates of SST, compiled for the period 1870 - present (Rayner et al. 2003). The presented version of this dataset are based on annual means of 42 grid cells which were further processed and smoothed. A mean value for the periods 1900 to 1920, and 1980 to 2005, and the differences between these two periods, are also presented.