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Re: Ocean surface water salinity has El Nino link

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  • Mike Doran <mike@usinter.net>
    GREAT LINK, David!!!! Of course, salinity has ZERO thermal properties BUT would have both biological and EMF implications. ... content ... in ... an ...
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 30, 2003
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      GREAT LINK,

      David!!!!

      Of course, salinity has ZERO thermal properties BUT would have both
      biological and EMF implications.



      --- In methanehydrateclub@yahoogroups.com, "David <b1blancer1@e...>"
      <b1blancer1@e...> wrote:
      > OCEAN SURFACE SALTINESS INFLUENCES EL NINO FORECASTS
      >
      > NASA sponsored scientists have discovered by knowing the salt
      content
      > 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
      in
      > 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:
      an
      > area of warmer temperatures and lower salinity in the western
      Pacific,
      > 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
      of
      > 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,
      about
      > 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
      observation
      > 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
      ocean
      > 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
      > are
      > 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,
      which
      > in turn affects Earth's climate and water cycle.
      >
      > By using remote sensing data from satellites, scientists will be
      able
      > to see changes in ocean salinity. Knowing the lag time factor,
      > computer models simulating the movement of the atmosphere may be
      able
      > 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:
      >
      > http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0114salt.html
      >
      > http://essic.umd.edu/~joaquim/salinity/
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