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Saturday, March 2, 2013

NASA's Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts

 NASA's Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts by Maria-Jose Vinas for Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt MD (SPX) Feb 28, 2013

NASAs Aquarius instrument has been orbiting the Earth for a year, measuring changes in salinity, or salt concentration, in the surface of the oceans. The Aquarius team released last September this first global map of ocean saltiness, a composite of the first two and a half weeks of data since the instrument became operational on August 25. Credit: NASA/GSFC/JPL-Caltech. Watch an animation of how Aquarius works.
The colorful images chronicle the seasonal stirrings of our salty world: Pulses of freshwater gush from the Amazon River's mouth; an invisible seam divides the salty Arabian Sea from the fresher waters of the Bay of Bengal; a large patch of freshwater appears in the eastern tropical Pacific in the winter. These and other changes in ocean salinity patterns are revealed by the first full year of surface salinity data captured by NASA's Aquarius instrument.

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