|COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER||10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.51|
Resolving the Global Surface Salinity Field and Variations by Blending Satellite and In Situ Observations
Gary Lagerloef(1), Jacqueline Boutin(2), Yi Chao(3), Thierry Delcroix(4), Jordi Font(5), Peter Niiler(6), Nicolas Reul(7), Steven J. Riser(8), Ray Schmitt(9), Detlef Stammer(10), Frank Wentz(11)
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This Community White Paper (CWP) examines the present Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) observing system, satellite systems to measure SSS and the requirements for satellite calibration and data validation. We provide recommendations for augmenting the in situ observing network to improve the synergism between in situ and remote sensing measurements. The goal is have an integrated (in situ-satellite) salinity observing system to provide necessary the global salinity analyses to open new frontiers of ocean and climate research. It is now well established that SSS is one of the fundamental variables for which sustained global observations are required to improve our knowledge and prediction of the ocean circulation, global water cycle and climate. With the advent of two new satellites, the ocean observing system will begin a new era for measuring and understanding the SSS field. The SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) and Aquarius/SAC-D (Scientific Application Satellite-D) missions planned to be launched between late 2009 and late 2010, are intended to provide ~150-200 km spatial resolution globally, and accuracy ~0.2 psu, or better, on monthly average. The challenge for the next decade is to combine these satellite and in situ systems to generate the optimal global SSS analysis for climate and ocean research. The in situ data provide surface calibration and validation for the satellite data, while the satellites provide more complete spatial and temporal coverage. The first priority is the maintenance of the existing in situ SSS observing network. In addition, we propose specific enhancements, ideally to include (1) deploying ~ 200 SSS sensors on surface velocity drifters and moorings in key regions, and (2) adding higher vertical resolution near-surface profiles to ~100 Argo buoys to address surface stratification, mixing and skin effects. Plans during the next few years to deploy a significant fraction of these enhanced measurements are identified.
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This paper shall be cited as:
Lagerloef, G. & Co-Authors (2010). "Resolving the Global Surface Salinity Field and Variations by Blending Satellite and In Situ Observations" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.51
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