US Climate Variability and Predictability Program

Salinity Working Group Meetings

US CLIVAR Salinity Workshop
8-10 May 2006
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The salinity field of the global oceans is attracting increasing attention, due to its influence on ocean-atmosphere exchanges, its role as an indicator of the water cycle and its potential for improved climate forecasting. New sources of salinity data are now available (The Argo Project profiling float array: and others are on the horizon (The Aquarius satellite mission to be launched in March 2009 will measure sea surface salinity: ).

All investigators (PIs, post-docs and students) working toward the understanding of the regional and global processes linked to the variability and trends of salinity in the coupled climate system were invited. Also those able to address the technical challenges of long-term salinity measurements were invited to attend. The goal of the workshop was to produce a “white paper” articulating the significance of salinity measurements to the advancement of understanding, and ultimately predicting, climate; outlining the necessary measurements; and describing additional activities to enable the full utilization of these measurements. To this end the meeting forma entailed invited presentations, and an emphasis on group discussions, with poster space available to all attendees.

The Workshop was held in the Redfield Auditorium of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, May 8-10, 2006. It was followed immediately by the Aquarius/SAC-D Third Science Workshop (May 10-12), given the strong connection between the workshop goals and the satellite mission's surface salinity measurement capabilities.


8 May (Day 1)
0730Continental Breakfast 
0830 - 0845Welcome and Introductions, goals and logisticsCarton/Schmitt
 Session 1: Surface Water Fluxes 
0845 - 0915New estimates of global evaporationYu
0915 - 0945Estimates of global precipitationArkin
1015 - 1030Morning Break
1030 - 1100Evaporation minus PrecipitationSchmitt
1100 - 1200Discussion: Future of surface flux estimates: can oceanic data provide constraints?Schmitt
1200 -1300Break for Lunch


Session 2: Salinity structure: trends and variability 
1300 - 1330Salinity and Climate DynamicsJohnson
1330 - 1400Atlantic Ocean Salinity TrendsDickson
1400 - 1430Salinity trends from archival dataCurry
1430 - 1500Arctic Ocean Salinity TrendsProshutinsky
1500 - 1530Afternoon Break
1530 - 1630Discussion: 
1730 - 1830
Poster Session and light snacks/beverages
9 May (Day 2)
0730Continental Breakfast 
 Session 3: Trends and Variability of Salinity 
0830 - 0900Southern Ocean Salinity TrendsGordon
0900 - 0930Pacific Salinity VariabilityLukas
0930 - 1000Tropical Salinity VariabilityDelcroix
1000 - 1015Morning Break
1015 - 1115Discussion: What do changing salinities tell us about the water cycle?Large
 Session 3: Salinity and Climate 
1115 - 1145Salinity and El Nino predictability
1145 - 1215Paleo-salinity issues
M. Schmidt
1215 - 1315
 Session 4: Observations and monitoring opportunites 
1315 - 1345Salinity Trends revealed by ARGO
1345 - 1415Thermosalinographs on VOS
1415 - 1445Inferring fluxes from surface convergences: salinity on surface driftersNiiler
1445 - 1500
Afternoon Break
1500 - 1530
In-situ sensors: New developments
1530 - 1700Discussion: Are there specific experiments that need to be done? What are the observational requirements for monitoring salinity variability in the coastal zone, the tropics, subtropics, and at high latitudes?
10 May (Day 3)
0730Continental Breakfast 
 Session 5: Future Prospects 
0830 - 0900Remote Sensing and Aquarius Mission OverviewLagerloef
0900 - 0930Improved salinity measurements to constrain oceanic fluxes: Prospects for data assimilation
0930 - 1030Discussion: What are the elements of an improved salinity monitoring system for climate? water cycle? Aquarius
1030 - 1045Morning Break
1045 - 1200Discussion: SWG White paper and future plans 


Salinity Posters Presentations:

  • Disbrutions of mixed layer properties in North Pacific water mass formation areas: comparison of ARGO floats and World Ocean Atlas 2001 - Frederick M. Bingham
  • Using Sea Surface Salinity as a parameterin the Gravest Empirical Mode - Deirdre A. Byrne
  • The Freshening of Surface Waters in High Latitudes: Effects on the Thermohaline and Wind-driven Circulations - Alexey Fedorov
  • The SMOS approach to retrieve sea surface salinity from L-BAND radiometric measurements - Jordi Font
  • Low Frequency Variation of Sea Surface Salinity in the Tropical Atlantic - Semon Grodsky
  • Role of assimilation of salinity data in tropical Pacific Ocean simulations - Eric Hackert
  • Upper ocean T-S variations in the Greenland Sea and their association to climatic conditions - Sirpa Hakkinen
  • How was Seasonal Variability of Upper Ocean Salinity Simulated by Global Ocean Data Assimilation Systems? - Boyin Huang
  • Using Data Mining Technique to Discover Useful Salinity/Temperature Patterns in ARGO data - Yo-Ping Huang
  • Variability Scales of Sea Surface Salinity - S. Daniel Jacob
  • Internnual Variations of mixed layer Salinity inthe Equatorial Pacific Ocean - Seung-Bum Kim and Frank J. Wentz
  • Poleward propagation of compensated salinity anomalies in the North Atlantic Ocean and impacts at high latitudes - Audine Laurian
  • Upper Ocean State and Variability in the Subpolar North Atlantic from Lagrangian Floats - Xingwen Li
  • Internal Variability of sea surface salinity in the tropics - Raghu Murtugudde
  • Modelled and observed Atlantic salinity changes over the last half-century - Anne Pardaens
  • Decadal Changes of Pacific Salinity - Li Ren
  • Ocean surface salinity in the tropical oceans using satellite derived OLR - Bulusu Subrahmanyam
  • Impact of ARGO salinity observations on ocean analysis - Chaojiao Sun
  • The role of salinity in the climate response to an intensified water cycle - Paul Williams
  • Understanding and Attributing Subpolar North Atlantic Freshening - Peili Wu, Michael Vellinga and Richard Wood
  • Observational evidence of winter spice formation - Stephen Yeager
  • How does the subsurface salinity maximum in the South China Sea reach its equilibrium - Zuojun Yu
  • An Empiricial Parameterization for the Salinity of Subsurface Water - Rong-Hua Zhang