Recent Publications

Melnichenko, O., Hacker, P., Potemra, J., Meissner, T., and Wentz, F. (2023). A New Multi-Mission Sea Surface Salinity Optimum Interpolation (OISSS) Analysis for Ocean Research and Applications EGU »

Meissner, T., Wentz, K., Ricciardulli, L., and Wentz, F. (2023). Passive microwave satellite sensors of the next decade for observing ocean vector winds, temperature, and salinity: WSF-MWI, COWVR, AMSR3, CIMR EGU »

Grodsky, S., Reul, N., and Vandemark, D. (2023). Sea surface salinity response to variations in the Aleutian Low ScienceDirect »

Sandven, S., Spreen, G., Heygster, G., Girard-Ardhuin, F., Farrell, S., Dierking, W., and Allard, R. (2023). Sea Ice Remote Sensing-Recent Developments in Methods and Climate Data Sets SpringerLink »

Bytheway, J., Thompson, E., Yang, J., and Chen, H. (2023). Evaluating Satellite Precipitation Estimates Over Oceans Using Passive Aquatic Listeners AGU »

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.

How Salty Are You…?

Salinity Stories

Adding a Pinch of Salt Improves El Niño Models
Ocean Salinity from space


Sea ice boundary
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High Latitudes

Salinity is a "key ingredient" for high-latitude ocean ecological communities  »

Cloudy day along the coast
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Salinity & Soil Moisture: Water Cycle Links

Water evaporating from the ocean sustains precipitation on land  »

Map of annual averaged surface TA
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Monitoring Total Alkalinity & Ocean Acidification

Total alkalinity (TA) is needed to assess ocean acidification  »


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The Role of Salt

More than just a seasoning  »

Water cycle diagram
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Following the Water Cycle

Vital to life - critical to understand  »

Temperature-salinity diagram
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Density and Ocean Circulation

Salinity and temperature drive the ocean's motion  »

Sea surface salinity map
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Salinity’s Connections to Climate

Salinity - a driving force for weather and climate  »

Global sea surface salinity
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Measuring Salinity

The perspective from space  »