A Decade of Sea Surface Salinity
This data visualization shows sea surface salinity (i.e., ocean salt concentration) over a ten year period (2011 to 2021). Warm colors (orange to yellow) are areas of high salinity/hot tropics. Cooler colors (blue to violet) are fresher waters, many of which can be seen coming from rainy/river/wetter tropics.
The heat of the sun forces evaporation at the ocean's surface, which puts water vapor into the atmosphere but leaves minerals and salts behind, keeping the ocean salty. The salinity of the ocean also varies from place to place, because evaporation varies based on the sea surface temperature and wind, rivers and rain storms inject fresh water into the ocean, and melting or freezing sea ice affects the salinity of polar waters.
Sea Surface Salinity (i.e., ocean salt) colorbar.
Date overlay for above data visualization.
Example composite animation using the colorbar and date overlays.
Climate Indicators Coastal Processes Cryology Cryosphere Cryospheric Indicators Earth Science Hydrology Hydrosphere Hyperwall Oceans Physical oceanography River Rivers/Streams Salinity Salinity/Density Salt Salt Transport Saltwater Intrusion Sea Ice Sea ice Motion surface water Terrestrial Hydrosphere
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
Datasets used in this visualization
Comiso's Daily Sea Ice ConcentrationID: 539Data Compilation NASA/GSFC 9/1/2011 - 9/1/2021
Data Compilation OISSS_L4_multimission_7day_v1 (Multi-Mission Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Salinity Global Dataset V1)ID: 1156Data Compilation Collected with SMAP/SMAP L-BAND RADIOMETER, SAC-D/AQUARIUS_SCATTEROMETER, SMOS/SMAP L-BAND RADIOMETER PODAAC
Credit: Creator: Oleg Melnichenko
This dataset can be found at: https://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/dataset/OISSS_L4_multimission_7day_v1See all pages that use this dataset
Data Compilation Natural Earth River DataID: 1159
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