Funded under NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Program, the Aquarius instrument will collect sea surface salinity (SSS) data over the global oceans. SSS is key to understanding the water cycle because 86% of global evaporation and 78% of global precipitation occur over the oceans. Together with in-water profiles from the ARGO system, scientists will have an unprecedented three-dimensional view of ocean salinity patterns. With these data and advanced computer models, we will discover how our oceans are tied to water cycle and climate.
Interested in how sea surface salinity compares with patterns of air temperature, sea surface temperature, evaporation and precipitation? Check out the Aquarius "Sea Surface Salinity Patterns Analysis Tool"