The average temperature of the whole surface of the World Ocean is ~17.5°C. The highest temperature, >36°C is found in the Red Sea and the lowest, <- 2°C, has been observed in the Weddell Sea. Water temperature depth distribution depends on the amount of solar heating of the Ocean surface and intermixing of water masses.
Warmer surface and near-surface layers transmit heat to underlying waters, forming a productive layer. Hydrological, biological and other processes act within it. The thickness of an active layer ranges from 200-400 m. Down to depths of 1,000-1,800 m, the temperature gradually decreases, and below 1800 m, cold waters of almost constant temperature exist.
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Text and images are from Man and the Ocean, a CD-ROM produced by the Russian Head Department of Navigation and Oceanography (HDNO).