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Salt of the Earth: Aquarius Will Reveal Salinity Ties to Climate (00:00:58)
[13-Oct-09] People have been measuring salinity for centuries, but ships and buoys alone cannot match the perspective from space. In fact, a whole quarter of the oceans have no salinity data at all.

Susan Lozier: "Up until now when we've been trying to understand how density changes impact ocean circulation, we've really just had half the picture."

When the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite is launched, scientists can look at salinity of the surface of the ocean from 400 miles above the earth.

Susan Lozier: "But now with the Aquarius mission, we'll be able to complete that other half. We'll be able to look at the salinity information. And so salinity, combined with temperature, will give us the information about the density field."

The satellite will gather more salinity data than in the last 125 years. This mission will help scientists better understand how salinity and ocean circulation are tied to global climate and how both systems are changing throughout time. View full movie here. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.