Aquarius yields NASA's first global map of ocean salinity
22 September 2011
NASA's new Aquarius instrument has produced its first global map of the salinity, or saltiness, of Earth's ocean surface, providing an early glimpse of the mission's anticipated discoveries.
Aquarius, which is aboard the Aquarius/SAC-D (Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas) observatory, is making NASA's first space observations of ocean surface salinity variations -- a key component of Earth's climate. Salinity changes are linked to the cycling of freshwater around the planet and influence ocean circulation.
"Aquarius' salinity data are showing much higher quality than we expected to see this early in the mission," said Aquarius Principal Investigator Gary Lagerloef of Earth & Space Research in Seattle. "Aquarius soon will allow scientists to explore the connections between global rainfall, ocean currents and climate variations."
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Source: NASA - JPL