Since the saltiness of ocean surface waters is a key variable in the climate system, understanding how this changes is important to understanding climate change.
Thanks to ESA’s Climate Change Initiative, scientists now have better insight into sea-surface salinity with the most complete global dataset ever produced from space.
If you’re a keen sea-swimmer, you may have noticed that the water can be saltier in some places than others. This is because the saltiness of the water depends on nearby additions of freshwater from rivers, rain, glaciers or ice sheets, or on the removal of water by evaporation.
The salinity of the ocean surface can be monitored from space using satellites to give a global view of the variable patterns of sea-surface salinity across the oceans.