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Salinity Working Group

The US CLIVAR Salinity Working Group was formed in June 2005. During the two year life cycle of the working group, they examined the processes and mechanisms that link salinity, the water cycle, ocean circulation, and climate variability; tried to understand the trends and variability of sea surface salinity and subsurface salinity for different regions; identified the relations between salinity and temperature structure and variability; and determined what observations and monitoring requirements are necessary to ensure adequate salinity data products for future climate studies. After a successful workshop in May 2005, held at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the working group's concluding report was published in July 2007.


Salinity Working Group
Jim Carton, co-chair University of Maryland
Ray Schmitt, co-chair Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Yi Chao NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Arnold Gordon Columbia University/LDEO
Greg Johnson NOAA PMEL
Gary Lagerloef ESR, Inc.
Bill Large NCAR
Steve Riser University of Washington


Terms of Reference

  • Describe the role of ocean salinity in the global water cycle, global ocean circulation, and climate variability (including trends);
  • Identify the requirements and challenges for analyzing, observing, and monitoring salinity, as well as simulate processes critical for determining the ocean's role in transport and storage of salinity;
  • Provide guidance to NASA (and the international community) on observational and scientific activities that should be considered in advance of and during the Aquarius mission to improve our measurement, analysis, and utilization of salinity information for the purposes stated above
  • Report within one year to the US CLIVAR Phenomena, Observation and Synthesis panel on the above objectives.