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2015 95th AMS Meeting

January 4-8, 2015
Phoenix, AZ

The 2015 95th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Meeting explored how to collaborate and innovate to develop - and ultimately deliver - actionable, user-specific weather, water, and climate information across spatial and temporal scales in support of our nation's safety, health, and prosperity. Aquarius-related papers from this meeting addressed mission status, science results, data validation, and the SPURS program.

Scientific Program
Documents (8)
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Aquarius Satellite Salinity Measurement Mission Status, and Science Results from the Initial 3-Year Prime Mission
Meissner, T. and Kao, H.Y. (07-Jan-15). The Aquarius satellite microwave sensor, launched June 2011, as part of the US-Argentina joint Aquarius/SAC-D mission, and commenced observations on 25 Aug2011, and completed three years of ocean surface salinity measurements in late August 2014. The Aquarius measurement objectives are to describe unknown features in the sea surface salinity (SSS) field, and document seasonal and interannual variations on regional and basin scales. This presentation will first describe the structure of the mean annual global salinity field compared with the previous in situ climatology and contemporary in situ measurements, including small persistent biases of opposite sign in high latitudes versus low latitudes, currently under intense investigation, as well as global and regional error statistics.

Assimilation of Satellite Sea-Surface Salinity Fields: Validating Ocean Analyses and Identifying Errors in Surface Buoyancy Fluxes
Mehra, A., Nadiga, S., Bayler, E., and Behringer, D. (07-Jan-15). Recently available satellite sea-surface salinity (SSS) fields provide an important new global data stream for assimilation into ocean forecast systems. In this study, we present results from assimilating satellite SSS fields from NASA's Aquarius mission into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) operational Modular Ocean Model version 4 (MOM4), the oceanic component of NOAA's operational seasonal-interannual Climate Forecast System (CFS).

Ocean Surface Carbon Dioxide Fugacity Observed from Space
Liu, W.T., and Xie, X. (05-Jan-15). The ocean as the source and sink of carbon dioxide is important to global warming, ocean biogeochemistry, and ecology, but its quantitative variation is insufficiently known. The exchange depends on the difference in fugacity (partial pressure) of carbon dioxide between sea and air, and a transfer velocity.

Salinity Anomaly as a Trigger for ENSO Events
Zhu, J., Huang, B., Zhang, R.H., Hu, Z.Z., Kumar, A., Balmaseda, M.A., Marx, L., and Kinter III, J.L. (07-Jan-15). According to the classical theories of El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO), subsurface anomalies in ocean thermal structure related to thermocline displacements are precursors for ENSO events and their initial specification are essential for skillful ENSO forecast. It has also been noted that ocean salinity in the tropical Pacific (particularly in the western Pacific warm pool) can vary in response to El Niño events, but its effect on ENSO evolution and forecasts of ENSO has been less explored. Here we present evidence using a state-of-the-art prediction system that, in addition to the passive response, salinity variability may also play an active role in ENSO evolution, and thus important in forecasting El Niño events.

Salinity Processes Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS): Diagnosing the Oceanic Response to a Changing Water Cycle
Schmitt, R.W. (05-Jan-15). Strong trends in ocean salinity have been documented over the past 50 years that suggest an intensification of the water cycle is underway. That is, saltier areas are getting saltier and fresh areas fresher.

The Relative Influence of Surface Sea Salinity and Temperature on Surface Density Gradient in the Tropical Pacific Ocean
Hasson, A. and Lee, T. (07-Jan-15). Horizontal gradients of surface density in the ocean are important to frontal genesis and instability (e.g., Tropical Instability Waves - TIWs) associated with ocean currents. They also have significant implications to air-sea interaction and biogeochemistry. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Salinity (SSS) both contribute to the horizontal density gradient. For the first time surface density can be globally inferred from remote sensing with unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

Three Years of Aquarius Salinity Measurements: Algorithm, Validation and Applications
Meissner, T., Wentz, F.J., Smith, D.K., Le Vine, D., and Lagerloef, G. (07-Jan-15). Aquarius is an L-band radiometer/scatterometer (i.e. active/passive) system designed to provide monthly salinity maps at 150 km spatial scale to an accuracy of 0.2 psu. The sensor was launched on June 10, 2011 as part of the Aquarius/SAC-D mission and has been collecting data since August 25, 2011. Version 3 of the data product was released in June 2014 and provides a major milestone towards reaching the mission requirement of 0.2 psu.

Upper Ocean Salinity Structure Variability and its Relationship to Aquarius Observations
Clayson, C.A. (07-Jan-15). The unprecedented availability of sea surface salinity (SSS) data available from satellite measurements from Aquarius and SMOS has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of variability across a number of scales of the Earth's water cycle. However, the usefulness of these data is predicated on both a sound understanding of the uncertainty of the data, and a sound understanding of how the SSS as seen at 1 cm by a satellite-borne radiometer is related to the ocean mixed layer salinity.