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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/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.

1Earth & Space Research, 2101 4th Ave, Suite 1310 989121 Seattle USA
2LOCEAN (Laboratoire d'Océanographie: Expérimentation et Approches Numériques), University of Paris, 4, Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
3NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, California 91109 USA
4LEGOS (Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales), 14 Avenue Edouard Belin - 31401 Toulouse Cedex 9, France
5Inst. Ciencias de la Mar, Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49. E-08003 Barcelona (Spain)
6Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0238, USA
7CERSAT/IFREMER (Centre ERS (Earth & Space Research) d'Archivage et de Traitement/French institute for exploitation of the sea/Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer), 155, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 92138 Issy-les-Moulineaux Cedex, France
8University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA 98105-66985, USA
9Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., MS 11, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA
10Institut fuer Meereskunde, Universität Hamburg, Bundesstraße 53, D-20146 Hamburg Germany
11Remote Sensing Systems, 438 First St., Santa Rosa, CA 95401 USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: lager@esr.org

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

Rights to reproduction of individual articles are held by the authors. The source of the article (these proceedings) shall be cited.

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