As the Sun's energy reaches the Earth, it is either reflected, absorbed by the clouds, or absorbed by the Earth's surface. The part absorbed by the Earth's surface heats the Earth, which then heats the air just above the surface. This process occurs rapidly in the case of dry land and slowly in the case of the oceans. This animation shows the surface air temperature at an altitude of 2 meters for the whole globe from September 1, 2004, through September 5, 2004, during the period of Hurricane Frances in the western Atlantic Ocean and Typhoon Songda in the western Pacific Ocean. The animation clearly shows the air over land reacting rapidly to solar heating during the day and cooling at night, while the daily solar cycle is not visible in the temperature of the air over the ocean. A very dynamic region of changing air temperature is visible in the interaction between the cold air over Antarctica and the warmer mid-latitude air over the southern oceans during this region of polar night. Hurricane Frances and Typhhon Songda are just barely visible as circulating temperature patterns in the western Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 184.108.40.206.0