Aquarius Sea Surface Temperature (Mollweide)
[21-Nov-16] The Aquarius instrument measures sea surface salinity to learn about the interactions between ocean circulation, the water cycle and climate. Besides salinity, Aquarius also measures sea surface temperature because the combination of salinity and temperature determines seawater density. Sea surface density drives the formation of ocean water masses and three-dimensional ocean circulation. Thus, better understanding of ocean salinity and temperature improves our understanding of the ocean's capacity to store and transport heat. This animation shows the changes of sea surface temperature from September 7, 2011 to May 20, 2015, mapped on a Mollweide projection. (00:01:44) Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.