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GCOS Ocean Physics ECV - Sea Surface Salinity

Salinity is the fraction of water that comprises salt and other impurities. Observations of sea-surface salinity (SSS) are needed to calculate estimates of oceanic transports of freshwater and other properties on basin to global scales. SSS also provides a good pointer to changes in the water cycle as it indicates the change in freshwater due to the difference between precipitation and evaporation. Along with coincident SST observations, it allows surface-water density to be estimated. In situ SSS data also provide important resources for evaluating numerical models, palaeological estimates and satellite observations.

Product Requirements:

  • Frequency:  Hourly to monthly
  • Resolution:  1-100 km
  • Required Measurement uncertainty:  0.01 psu
  • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified:  0.001 psu
  • Standards/References:  See EOV specification sheets at www.ioc-goos-oopc/obs/ecv.php>
  • Entity (Satellite):  WGClimate
  • Entity (in situ):  JCOMM


Data Sources: