Of course, salinity has ZERO thermal properties BUT would have both
biological and EMF implications.
--- In email@example.com
, "David <b1blancer1@e...>"
> OCEAN SURFACE SALTINESS INFLUENCES EL NINO FORECASTS
> NASA sponsored scientists have discovered by knowing the salt
> of the ocean's surface, they may be able to improve the ability to
> predict El Nino events. Scientists, studying the western Pacific
> Ocean, find regional changes in the saltiness of surface ocean water
> correspond to changes in upper ocean heat content in the months
> preceding an El Nino event. Knowing the distribution of surface
> salinity may help predict events.
> Salinity and temperature combine to dictate the ocean's density.
> Greater salinity, like colder temperatures, results in an increase
> ocean density with a corresponding depression of the sea surface
> height. In warmer, fresher waters, the density is lower resulting in
> an elevation of the sea surface. These ocean height differences are
> related to the circulation of the ocean.
> The surface salinity in two regions contributes to El Nino events:
> area of warmer temperatures and lower salinity in the western
> and the higher salinity and cooler temperatures in the eastern
> Pacific. Differences in surface salinity are related to changes in
> temperature and upper ocean heat content, which are part of the El
> Nino phenomenon. They have the potential to influence the Earth's
> climate through air-sea interaction at the ocean's surface.
> The study, conducted for NASA by University of Maryland researchers
> Joaquim Ballabrera, Tony Busalacchi, and Ragu Murtugudde, is one of
> the first to look at ocean salinity in El Nino, Southern Oscillation
> (ENSO) predictions and their relationship to tropical sea surface
> temperatures, sea level, winds, and fresh water from rain. Results
> the study are in the latest issue of the Journal of Geophysical
> Research - Oceans.
> Ballabrera and his colleagues looked at data, from 1980 to 1995,
> sea surface temperatures, winds, rainfall, evaporation, sea surface
> height, and latent heat, the energy released when water vapor
> condenses into droplets.
> Using computer models, they performed a series of statistical
> predictions of the El Nino events for such a period. The results
> indicate short-term predictions only require monitoring sea surface
> temperatures, while predictions over a season require the
> of sea level. They concluded observations of salinity significantly
> improve predictions. When changes in salinity occur, they affect the
> El Nino event for the next six to 12 months. In this lag time,
> salinity changes have the potential to modify the layers of the
> and affect the heat content of the western Pacific Ocean; the region
> where the unusual atmospheric and oceanic behavior associated to El
> Nino first develops. "As a result, when changes in ocean saltiness
> considered, improvements are found in El Nino forecasts six to 12
> months in advance," Ballabrera said.
> "This research holds tremendous potential for the NASA Aquarius
> mission to monitor the surface salinity of the global ocean,"
> Busalacchi said. Aquarius is scheduled for launch during 2006-2007.
> Aquarius will provide the first global maps of salt concentration on
> the ocean surface. Salt concentration is a key area of scientific
> uncertainty in the oceans' capacity to store and transport heat,
> in turn affects Earth's climate and water cycle.
> By using remote sensing data from satellites, scientists will be
> to see changes in ocean salinity. Knowing the lag time factor,
> computer models simulating the movement of the atmosphere may be
> to accurately predict El Nino episodes. This may lead to longer
> lead-time for predictions of ENSO events.
> Florida State University, the National Center for Environmental
> Prediction, National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Etudes
> Climatiques de l'Ocean Pacifique tropical program at Institut de
> Recherche pour le Developpement, Centre de Noumea contributed ocean
> and atmosphere data to this study.
> For more information and images, see: