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Science Meetings

Synergistic Use of Satellite and In Situ Observations for Production of New, Multi-platform Salinity Estimates for Climate Research
Vinogradova, N., Ponte, R., Fukumori, I., and Wang, O. (25-May-17)

The modern salinity observing system includes an expansive network of in situ and space-borne measurements. Today, salinity data from multiple sources, such as automated Argo profiles, repeat hydrographic section sampling, and satellite observations from Aquarius, SMOS, and SMAP, provide a multi-platform estimate of near-global salinity fields. Reconciling salinity estimates from these different platforms into a coherent picture is one of the objectives of the NASA Ocean Salinity Science Team and the Satellite & In Situ Salinity (SISS) working group. Here we introduce a new salinity estimate based on the synthesis of information from various sources over the 1992-2015 period. The salinity estimate is based on the latest release of the ECCO ocean state estimate (v4 Release 3) and reconciles salinity information from multiple platforms, including satellite observations from Aquarius and in situ data from Argo, CTD, and ITP (ice-tethered profilers). The resulting estimate is close to the observations within data uncertainties that are estimated a priori for each dataset. An important advantage of this new salinity estimate with respect to common ocean reanalyses (e.g., ECMWF ORA-family, SODA, etc.) is the physical consistency among the resulting salinity fields, corresponding ocean transports of salt, and exchange of freshwater within the land-ocean-atmosphere system via processes of evaporation, precipitation, run off, and sea-ice dynamics. The fit and dynamical consistency of the solution is achieved by virtue of optimized atmospheric forcing fields and oceanic turbulent transport parameters within the ECCO framework. We discuss main characteristics of the produced salinity estimates, place it in the context of other existing salinity estimates, and assess the value of satellite salinity versus in situ measurements in terms of their ability to improve the end-product ocean synthesis