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Jan D. Zika, Nikolaos Skliris, A. J. George Nurser, Simon A. Josey, Lawrence Mudryk, Frédéric Laliberté, and Robert Marsh

variability from reanalysis products, which often violate basic physical constraints and are inconsistent with observational estimates ( Trenberth et al. 2011 ). With the ocean receiving over 80% of the total global rainfall ( Schanze et al. 2010 ), oceanic observations of salinity offer a unique opportunity in terms of measuring the integrated effect of changes in the hydrological cycle ( Trenberth et al. 2007 ). Only recently, however, has the observational network expanded to the point where the mean

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Stanley S. Jacobs and Claudia F. Giulivi

1. Introduction Salinity declined along the Antarctic continental margin during the late 20th century, more so in the Pacific sector where much of the underlying data were obtained on the Ross Sea continental shelf ( Fig. 1 ; Jacobs and Giulivi 1998 ; Boyer et al. 2005 ). Measurements there typically show shelf water generated during winter sea ice formation, with temperatures near the sea surface freezing point and salinity gradually increasing with depth. Summer observations from 1963

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G. Reverdin, J. Boutin, A. Lourenco, P. Blouch, J. Rolland, P. P. Niiler, W. Scuba, and A. F. Rios

1. Introduction Sea surface salinity (SSS) is a key climate variable [e.g., see the Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) science plan and objectives ( www.clivar.org )]. Its monitoring has long been very difficult to achieve ( Delcroix et al. 2005 ; Reverdin et al. 2007 ), and the accuracy with which this was done has long been rather low, both because of difficulties of gathering data with sufficient accuracy and because of insufficiencies in sampling ( Bingham et al. 2002 ). The

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Johan Nilsson and Heiner Körnich

1. Introduction In the ocean, the temperature is strongly controlled by heat exchange with the atmosphere and the physical properties of seawater. For seawater, the freezing point is slightly below 0°C, setting the lower temperature limit. The warmest waters are encountered in the tropics, where strong negative feedbacks presumably have kept sea surface temperature close to 30°C throughout a considerable part of the earth’s history (cf. Pierrehumbert 1995 , 2002 ). The oceanic salinity field

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Rashmi Sharma, Neeraj Agarwal, Imran M. Momin, Sujit Basu, and Vijay K. Agarwal

1. Introduction Ocean salinity, along with ocean temperature and surface wind, controls the dynamic and thermodynamic behavior of the ocean. It also plays an important role in controlling the mixed layer depth variations, especially at low latitudes, in regions of heavy precipitation ( Sprintall and Tomczak 1992 ; Murtugudde and Busalacchi 1998 ; Han et al. 2001 ). In such regions, with near-surface haline stratification, salinity is known to influence the evolution of mixed layer temperature

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Semjon Schimanke and H. E. Markus Meier

1. Introduction The Baltic Sea is one of the largest brackish sea areas of the world. The sensitive state of the Baltic Sea is sustained through a freshwater surplus by river discharge and net precipitation (precipitation minus evaporation) on one hand and by inflows of highly saline and oxygen-rich water from the North Sea on the other hand. Major Baltic inflows (MBIs), which are crucial for the renewal of the deep water below the permanent halocline, occur intermittently with a mean frequency

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Olwijn Leeuwenburgh

observed one) and that additionally conserve dynamical balances. A common application has been the estimation of subsurface corrections from sea level observations based on mode decomposition ( Fukumori et al. 1999 ), raising or lowering the temperature–salinity ( T – S ) profile ( Cooper and Haines 1996 ), regression between sea level and EOFs of observed subsurface variability ( Fischer et al. 1997 ), or on multivariate covariances estimated from model runs ( Borovikov et al. 2005 ). Model error

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Julius Busecke, Ryan P. Abernathey, and Arnold L. Gordon

the terrestrial water cycle. Studying the freshwater flux over the ocean is very challenging because of the complicated and spatially sparse measurements and the reliance on bulk formulas for various flux products, resulting in large uncertainties between datasets ( Schanze et al. 2010 ). Because of these difficulties, the idea of using sea surface salinity (SSS) as a proxy of the integrated freshwater forcing has emerged ( Schmitt 2008 ; Gordon and Giulivi 2008 ). By removing (adding) freshwater

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Jae-Hong Moon, Naoki Hirose, Jong-Hwan Yoon, and Ig-Chan Pang

1. Introduction The water masses in the East China Sea (ECS) are characterized by various factors such as the Kuroshio water, river discharge, tidal mixing and atmospheric forcing ( Chang and Isobe 2003 ). Among these factors, the effect of freshwater dominates the distributions of surface salinity in summer when the rivers runoff are high, especially associated with the Changjiang River contributing about 90% of the whole river discharge into the interior of the ECS ( Beardsley et al. 1985

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Derek M. Burrage, Joel C. Wesson, Mark A. Goodberlet, and Jerry L. Miller

1. Introduction Technology for passive microwave remote sensing of sea surface salinity (SSS) has progressively advanced in the last two decades, so that operational airborne mapping of coastal salinity distributions at ∼0.5-km spatial scales is now possible (see Burrage et al. 2003 , 2002a for brief reviews), and satellite missions intended to map open ocean SSS and terrestrial soil moisture globally with a spatial resolution of order 50 km are under development ( Lagerloef et al. 1995

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