This paper addresses analysis of the global monthly sea surface temperatures using a reconstructed dataset that goes back to 1884. We use fractional integration methods to examine features such as persistence, seasonality, and time trends in the data. The results show that seasonality is a relevant issue, finding evidence of seasonal unit roots. With the seasonal component removed, persistence is also very significant, and, when looking at the data month by month, evidence of significant linear trends is detected in all cases. According to these results, monthly sea surface temperatures increase by between 0.07° and 0.11°C every 100 years.