“Global: Sea Surface Temperatures” is a new Forever international rate stamp that offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter or postcard to any country in the world, as well as for 2-ounce mail to Canada. The round stamp uses a visual representation of Earth’s sea surface temperatures. It shows North America at the center and parts of South America, Asia, and Europe just visible on the edges, surrounded by vivid bands of color throughout the oceans. The image is one frame in a 1,460-frame animation created from the output of a computer model of Earth’s climate by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. The full animation shows how the surface temperatures of the oceans vary seasonally and change over time, and how surface ocean currents and eddies transport heat and water around the globe.
This image also combines the depiction of sea-surface temperatures with visible vegetation on the land masses, an element derived from a satellite composite created by NASA.