2014 $1.15 Sea Surface Temperatures
The round stamp is the third Global Forever stamp issued. Released on Earth Day, this stamp was inspired by a model by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) of the earth’s climate. It shows one frame in a 1,460-frame animation of Earth’s climate. North America is in the center with portions of South America, Asia, and Europe along the edges.
Benjamin Franklin made some of the first scientific studies of the Atlantic Ocean’s surface temperature on his voyages from North America to Europe. His simple measurements, using a mercury thermometer, laid the foundation for further experiments on ocean temperatures and their effect on weather.
The surface temperature of the ocean varies daily, influenced by sunlight, wind, and the seasons. Warmer waters, in turn, create changes in the weather, causing typhoons and hurricanes to form or intensify. These disturbances lower the ocean temperatures by mixing colder deep water with the warmer waves at the surface.
In the Pacific Ocean, a long-term warming of a few degrees can trigger an El Niño weather pattern. As warm water travels east, it causes droughts in southern Asia and Australia and increased rainfall in the southwestern U.S. The conditions can last up to two years, having a serious impact on the fishing industry as well as harvests along the shores.
Continued study, including the use of satellite images, provides a better understanding of weather patterns. This knowledge leads to advanced warnings, allowing preparations for unusual weather events. Still, scientists know they can never control the forces of nature affecting the temperatures of the Earth’s oceans.
$1.15 Sea Surface Temperature, issued to satisfy the international one-ounce rate
Issue Date: April 22, 2014, Earth Day
City: Washington, DC, at a U.S. Department of Energy Community Day event
Quantity: 25 million
Printed By: Ashton Potter USA Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed, sheets of 50 with five panes of 10 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut