Aquarius Satellite Salinity Measurement Accuracy and Science Achievements After Two Years
[26-Feb-2014] Lagerloef, G.S. and Kao, H-Y.
Presented at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting
The Aquarius satellite mission's measurement objectives include discovering unknown features in the sea surface salinity (SSS) field, and documenting seasonal and interannual variations on regional and basin scales. This paper will first document any remaining large scale and seasonal time scale systematic measurement errors, and means to correct them for this analysis, as well as global and regional error statistics. Next, we will describe the structure of the mean annual global salinity field compared with the previous in situ climatology and contemporary in situ measurements, again with careful attention to data validation and residual errors. Then we summarize the most prominent seasonal variations, most notably the extant and variability of the SSS signature of the Atlantic and Pacific inter-tropical convergence zones, Amazon-Orinoco and other major rivers, and other important regional patterns of seasonal variability. Lastly we will examine the differences between the two measurement years September 2011 - August 2012 and September 2012 - August 2013 in relation to ENSO and other climate indices, as the first step in analyzing interannual SSS variability.