Ocean Salinity and Its Role in Ocean Dynamics and the Water Cycle
Four sessions (3 oral and 1 poster) highlight research investigating ocean salinity as a key parameter that links various elements of the water cycle to ocean circulation dynamics and climate. Contributions are invited on all aspects of ocean salinity investigations, including analyses undertaken from in situ and satellite observations, numerical models, and data assimilation. We particularly welcome contributions that have utilized sea-surface salinity (SSS) measurements from the recent pathfinder satellite missions (SMOS, Aquarius/SAC-D, and SMAP), as well as observations collected during the SPURS (Salinity Processes Upper-ocean Regional Study) experiment and other field campaigns. The session will focus on: recent progress from salinity remote sensing; new process-based insights from field observations; salinity-driven thermohaline circulation, upper-ocean stratification, and related ocean dynamics; links between salinity and global and regional climate variability; the water cycle, as well as the fingerprint of long-term change; salinity assimilation into ocean models; and the scientific imperative for future salinity measurement continuity and enhancement.