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Marlos Goes, Jonathan Christophersen, Shenfu Dong, Gustavo Goni, and Molly O. Baringer

1. Introduction Salinity is a key variable for determining density and steric height in the ocean; consequently, it affects the strength of ocean currents, the depth of the mixed layer, and the transport of mass, heat, salt, and nutrients across the globe. Ocean data assimilation relies on salinity observations and/or estimates for prediction of climate and weather patterns over marine and land areas. Without assimilation of salinity data, strong drift can occur in assimilation models as a

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Claire Henocq, Jacqueline Boutin, Gilles Reverdin, François Petitcolin, Sabine Arnault, and Philippe Lattes

1. Introduction Climate variability is closely linked to the global water cycle. Given the enormous volume of water contained in the ocean compared to the earth’s other water reservoirs, the global water cycle is primarily driven by ocean–atmosphere exchanges ( Schmitt 2008 ). Sea surface salinity (SSS) variations are strongly linked to precipitation over the ocean (representing nearly 379 × 10 3 km 3 yr −1 of freshwater) and evaporation (nearly 411 × 10 3 km 3 yr −1 ). In that context

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Zuojun Yu, Julian P. McCreary Jr., Max Yaremchuk, and Ryo Furue

-defined North Pacific water masses: high-salinity North Pacific Tropical Water (NPTW) and low-salinity North Pacific Intermediate Water. Figure 1 is a reproduction of their annual-mean salinity map on the σ θ = 25.0 surface, which lies near the high-salinity core of NPTW. At the mouth of the Luzon Strait (nearly parallel to 122°E), salinity is 34.76 psu. The salinity gradually decreases toward the southwest. Near 17°N, the 34.6-psu contour orients more or less in an east–west direction. South of 15°N

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Sabine Philipps, Christine Boone, and Estelle Obligis

1. Introduction Salinity is an important parameter for describing ocean processes. Together with temperature and pressure, salinity determines the density of seawater. So changes in salinity and temperature modify the seawater density. Antonov et al. (2002) found that 10% of the observed sea level rise in the 0–3000-m layer during 1957–94 was due to a decrease of the ocean mean salinity. Water masses are also identified by their temperature and salinity, which, except for mixing of two

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Florian Sévellec, Thierry Huck, Mahdi Ben Jelloul, and Jérôme Vialard

1. Introduction A strong modification of surface air temperature in the North Atlantic during the past century has been established ( Mann et al. 1999 )—in the context of global warming. This temperature modification is concomitant with a modification of sea surface salinity (SSS) in the same region noted since the mid-1970s and is related to an increase of precipitation in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre ( Josey and Marsh 2005 ). A similar salinity modification has also been measured in the

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Lijing Cheng, Kevin E. Trenberth, Nicolas Gruber, John P. Abraham, John T. Fasullo, Guancheng Li, Michael E. Mann, Xuanming Zhao, and Jiang Zhu

global surface freshwater flux ( Durack 2015 ). This flux has a distinct pattern with large-scale regions, such as in the subtropics, having a net negative freshwater flux ( E > P ), and large-scale regions in the higher latitudes, having a net positive freshwater flux ( E < P ). This pattern is well reflected in the ocean’s salinity distribution, making salinity a powerful “rain gauge.” This concept can be traced to Wust (1936) and Sverdrup et al. (1942 , 124–127), who noted first the broad

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A. Bellucci, S. Masina, P. DiPietro, and A. Navarra

observations (mainly hydrography and altimetry data) in the assimilation process ( Segschneider et al. 2001 ; Masina et al. 2001 ; Carton et al. 2000 ). An aspect that has been somewhat overlooked in the ocean reanalyses production is the role of salinity. The scarcity of direct salinity observations and the belief that this tracer has a second-order impact on the tropical ocean density structure compared to temperature, were reasons why salinity has often been left unchanged during the temperature

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Shoichiro Kido and Tomoki Tozuka

1. Introduction Salinity, along with temperature, is known as a key parameter in physical oceanography. Since salinity controls the density of the seawater, understanding its spatiotemporal distribution is of great importance for an accurate description of dynamics and thermodynamics of the ocean. However, because of technical difficulty in salinity observation, its variability has not been understood compared to that of temperature. While temperature directly affects the atmosphere as a heat

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Verena Hormann, Luca R. Centurioni, and Gilles Reverdin

1. Introduction The near-surface salinity distribution of the World Ocean is a key indicator of water exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, yet it is still poorly understood. Although the near-surface salinity generally reflects patterns of evaporation and precipitation, it is also affected by oceanic advection and mixing (e.g., Schmitt 2008 ; Yu 2011 ). To improve our understanding of the processes modulating upper-ocean salinity, a first Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional

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David K. Ralston, W. Rockwell Geyer, and James A. Lerczak

1. Introduction Understanding the structure and variability of the salinity distribution in an estuary is critical to many ecological and engineering management decisions. The salinity distribution is governed by a balance between downstream advection of salt by river flow and upstream transport of salt by dispersive processes. These up-estuary fluxes can be divided into a subtidal component due to residual velocity and salinity and an oscillatory tidal component associated with correlations in

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