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Keywords:

  • salinity;
  • satellite;
  • oceanography;
  • climate;
  • Aquarius

Understanding the links between ocean circulation, the global water cycle, and climate variations requires knowledge of ocean surface salinity. NASA's Aquarius satellite mission (http://aquarius.nasa.gov), which monitors the global open ocean surface salinity field, embarked on its science operations phase after completing the in-orbit performance assessment on 1 December 2011. The data (Figure 1) are already showing new and interesting information.