Unisys Is Changing Their Color Scaling On Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Maps

Update (April 21, 2012):  Unisys made the announcement back in September that they were changing color schemes, but they haven’t made the switch.  I wonder what happened.


A couple of weeks ago, Unisys announced they are changing the color scaling on their daily Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly maps. Refer to their post New Sea Surface Temp Anomalies Graphic. The following gif animation compares the old and the new presentations:

Old and New Unisys SST Anomaly Maps

Unisys writes:

Based on user feedback we developed a new version of our Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies plot with a different color scale. We had been asked to modify the color scale to better differentiate between above and below normal temperatures.

Unisys also asked for comments. There’s a link on their blog post linked above. I suggested a band of neutral white at +/- 0.05 deg C.

The new Unisys SST anomaly map looks more like the GlobalSST anomaly maps from the NOAA Coral Reef Watch website:

Coral Reef Watch Map

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in SST Dataset Info, SST Update. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Unisys Is Changing Their Color Scaling On Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Maps

  1. Dave N says:

    Makes much more sense than their previous scheme.. Might just take some getting used to

  2. kramer says:

    The new graphic looks more alarming (more warmer) to me. Given that much of what the pro-AGW crowd has been saying has been exaggerated, I’m not surprised that the new graphic gives a more alarming (exaggerated) picture.

  3. dp says:

    It looks worse than we thought. Maybe that is the point. My gut tells me putting colors from the summer part of the spectrum around the 0.0 point is a bit misleading. And maybe that is the point, too. We are adapted to accepting in our daily lives that yellow is caution, red is warning, green is good, so these color choices are either a profound piece of hucksterism or incompetence.

  4. timetochooseagain says:

    I don’t know, I find these images an improvement aesthetically. The old color scheme was pretty ugly, IMAO. Nevertheless, I think they should have darker blues to better contrast with the bright, warm colors. White for near normal is also a good suggestion.

    Hm, what’s the story on the warm spot just North of Japan? Related to North Pacific Ocean La Nina warmth?

  5. SteveE says:

    Looks like an improvement to me, yellow for positive blue for negative. Before you couldn’t really see where the change was. Now it’s a lot clearer!

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