Presented at the 2014 Ocean Sciences MeetingThe launch of the Aquarius/SAC-D mission provided the ability to capture global sea surface salinity (SSS) variability. In this study, we examined the distribution of the Aquarius-derived SSS within the equatorial regions and subtropical gyres by comparing against the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, Argo floats, and the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). The global SSS mean distribution and seasonal anomalies, including the Amazon plume and the freshwater movement in the North Indian Ocean, exposed differences between the data sets. The seasonality of the global salt budget was also evaluated by using Aquarius-derived SSS to estimate the salt tendency, freshwater flux, and horizontal advection within the aforementioned regions. The equatorial regions expressed a negative freshwater flux due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Conversely, the subtropical gyres showed minimal seasonal variability in the freshwater forcing term, but generally conveyed a negative influence on the salt tendency due to horizontal advection. Furthermore, the correlation between each budget term and the salt tendency were analyzed to determine the regions where Aquarius SSS can be utilized to calculate the salt budget.