Salt is essential. Circulating through our bodies and our seas, it impacts the health of people and the planet. Salt dissolved in seawater – measured as salinity – drives currents that distribute heat and carbon around the globe. So, salt not only preserves our food, it helps to preserve our climate by contributing to global ocean circulation.

Earth is an ocean planet. Key water cycle processes – precipitation and evaporation – mostly occur over the ocean. Thus, monitoring sea surface salinity patterns provides important clues about changes in our environment.

NASA observes salinity. Merging data from satellites and other instruments, our mission is to better understand ocean circulation, the water cycle, and climate.

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Salinity Stories
Check out our interactive stories centered on ocean salinity and its importance to our lives.
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Rain over the ocean

Latest News »

Multi-Mission Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Salinity (OISSS) Level 4 V1.0 Dataset Release (30-Jun-21).
Hurricanes Wakes Show Asymmetrical Response in Ocean Salinity (21-Jan-21). American Geophysical Union editors have highlighted the work of scientists examining the ties between sea surface salinity and hurricanes. Their study shows that hurricanes can induce an ocean salinity response in unexpected ways.
JPL V5 Data Release (11-Dec-20). The PO.DAAC is pleased to announce the availability of the PI-produced JPL V5.0 SMAP Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) and extreme winds data.

Meetings »

Ocean Salinity Conference 2021
November 9-12, 2021
Columbia University, New York City
Conference Website | Abstract Submission Form | Registration | Announcement
This conference aims to foster scientific exchanges and collaborations in the broad community involved in ocean salinity science, applications, technology development, product services, and community building. Conference presentations and discussion will review recent progress, identify knowledge and capability gaps, and chart the way forward to sustain and enhance the ocean salinity observing system as well as to maximize the value of the resulting measurements.