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Senliang Bao, Ren Zhang, Huizan Wang, Hengqian Yan, Yang Yu, and Jian Chen

1. Introduction Salinity plays a significant role in the ocean circulation and the Earth global hydrological cycle. Salinity, along with ocean temperature, is required to compute ocean density and provides key information about water mass formation, mixed layer depth, barrier layer depth, and geostrophic circulation ( de Boyer Montégut et al. 2007 ; Helber et al. 2010 ; Qin et al. 2015 ; Rao and Sivakumar 2003 ; Wang and Zhang 2012 ). Further, sea surface salinity is a key variable

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Vigan Mensah, Marc Le Menn, and Yves Morel

1. Introduction The measurement of absolute salinity in the ocean during campaigns at sea is problematic because salinity is not obtained through direct measurement but instead is calculated from measurement of electrical conductivity. However, conductivity only slightly depends on salinity and mainly depends on temperature, the effect of which must then be filtered out very precisely. It is thus extremely important that the conductivity sensors respond perfectly to the quick temperature

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Nadya T. Vinogradova and Rui M. Ponte

1. Introduction An important component of the calibration and validation effort of any satellite mission is the comparison between remotely sensed and in situ measurements. For the recently launched Aquarius/Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-D ( SAC-D ; Lagerloef et al. 2008 ; Lagerloef 2012 ) and Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity ( SMOS ; Font et al. 2010 ) satellite missions dedicated to measuring sea surface salinity (SSS), comparison between retrieved and in situ observations is

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Elizabeth Mannshardt, Katarina Sucic, Montserrat Fuentes, and Frederick M. Bingham

1. Introduction In 2011, NASA launched a satellite mission to measure sea surface salinity (SSS) and to provide the global view of salinity variability needed for climate studies. The goal of the Aquarius mission is to understand “the interaction between ocean circulation, the water cycle, and climate by measuring salinity” ( NASA 2012 ). Salinity affects the interaction between ocean circulation and the global water cycle, which in turn affects the regulation of the earth’s climate through

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M. Talone, C. Gabarró, A. Camps, R. Sabia, J. Gourrion, M. Vall-llossera, and J. Font

1. Introduction a. The SMOS mission In May 1999 the European Space Agency (ESA) approved the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) Mission as the second of its Living Planet Programme Earth Explorer Opportunity Missions to provide global and frequent soil moisture and sea surface salinity (SSS) maps. SMOS was launched on 2 November 2009, and after the first calibration and checkout period (the so-called “commissioning phase”), SSS level 3 products will be distributed; the expected accuracy is

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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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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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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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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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