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.

Thinking icon
Salinity Stories
Check out our interactive stories centered on ocean salinity and its importance to our lives.
Get Started
Saildrone
Ocean
Rain over the ocean
Earth
Icebergs

Latest News »

Multi-Mission Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Salinity (OISSS) Level 4 V1.0 Dataset Release (30-Jun-21). https://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/dataset/OISSS_L4_multimission_7day_v1
Hurricanes Wakes Show Asymmetrical Response in Ocean Salinity (21-Jan-21). https://eos.org/editor-highlights/hurricanes-wakes-show-asymmetrical-response-in-ocean-salinity 
JPL V5 Data Release (11-Dec-20). https://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/datasetlist?search=JPLSMAPSSSV50

Meetings »

Ocean Salinity Conference 2022
June 6-9, 2022
Columbia University, New York City, New York, USA (an in-person event with a virtual participation option)
Conference Website | Abstract Submission Form | Registration
The Ocean Salinity 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. This conference (postponed from November 2020) is part of a series of international salinity community meetings (Brest, France - 2013, Exeter, UK - 2014, Hamburg, Germany - 2015, Falmouth/MA, USA - 2017, and Paris, France - 2018). The 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.