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Observing System Experiment with Satellite SSS

Impact of Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) data assimilation on El Niño 2015/16

This project is sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) through its Support to Science Element
and supports the effort of the Observing System Evaluation Task Team (OSEval-TT) of GODAE OceanView


Salinity is a key ocean parameter which plays an important    role in the ocean variability. Monitoring Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) is crucial for understanding and forecasting the ocean circulation, water cycle and the changing of the climate. The recent satellite missions of ESA’s SMOS, NASA’s Aquarius, and now SMAP have made it possible for the first time to measure SSS from space.

Although several studies have already demonstrated the usefulness of satellite SSS measurements the data are not widely used by the ocean modelling communities mainly due to technical challenges assimilating SSS data and assessing its impact.  To improve the uptake and the use of SSS data for ocean forecasting this project aims to design, implement and perform Observing System Experiments (OSEs) of Sea Surface Salinity using ocean modeling and assimilation systems linked to GODAE OceanView, specifically the FOAM and Mercator Ocean systems.

The 2015/16 El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event has been chosen as a case study for this project. One scientific question is the understanding of the mechanisms at work during one of the strongest El-Niño events......[Read more]




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