Salinity plays a fundamental role in the density-driven global ocean circulation, the water cycle, and climate. Synoptic monitoring of Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) by satellite remote sensing provides an essential tool for better monitoring, understanding and constraining the marine component of the water cycle and the thermohaline circulation, which in turn determine ocean carbon and heat storage across all ocean basins. In addition, SSS variations can modify the vertical stratification in density and strongly influence the air-sea exchange of gases and masses through the development of the so-called barrier layers. Last, SSS is a tracer of freshwater fluxes originating from river discharges, ice melting, air-sea exchange (Evaporation minus Precipitation (E-P)).SMOS (2010 to date), Aquarius (2011 to 2015) and SMAP (2015 – date) satellite missions monitor Sea Surface Salinity at global scale with a unique synoptic coverage at a 50-100km spatial resolution with a revisit time of 3 to 8 days. They reveal mesoscale features related to ocean circulation and river plumes, eddies propagation not observable by any other means.
This Sea Surface Salinity project (SSS_cci) aims to produce the longest SSS Climate Data Record resulting from the combination of all the existing satellite missions capable to retrieve this variable from space.