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Science Meetings

Analyses of Seasonal to Interannual Variations and Trends in The Aquarius Data Record
Lagerloef, G. and Kao, H. (18-Nov-15)

An important scientific goal for satellite salinity observations is to document oceanic climate trends and their link to changes in the water cycle. This study is a preliminary examination of multi-year sea surface salinity (SSS) trends from analyses of SMOS and Aquarius data, years 2010-2015 to assess the feasibility of monitoring such trends from satellite. Orthogonal mode analyses are evaluated to resolve trend modes among other seasonal and interannual variability patterns. The dominant trend is isolated in the western tropical Pacific and associated with ENSO evolution during these years. The results indicate that resolving secular climate trends in the global water cycle will require extended multi-decadal surface salinity time series. Recognizing that the Aquarius data record is now finite (Sep 2011 through May 2015) due to the mission failure in early June 2015, I will review the status and disposition of the Aquarius data record and its value as a reference for salinity measurement continuity for both SMOS and SMAP satellite salinity measurement continuity. Lastly, members of the Aquarius algorithm team have begun a new task to derive surface salinity from NASA’s SMAP mission. I will discuss the progress and consider the SMAP data in this extended multi-year analysis.