20 May '11, 10pm

The Salty Seas of Earth

The Salty Seas of Earth

Final preparations are under way for the June 9 launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D observatory. The mission's primary instrument, Aquarius, will study interactions between ocean circulation, the water cycle and climate by measuring ocean surface salinity. On average, seawater in the world's oceans has a salinity of about 3.5% (35 g/L). In addition to Aquarius, the observatory carries seven other instruments that will collect environmental data for a wide range of applications, including studies of natural hazards, air quality, land processes and epidemiology. Although the vast majority of seawater has a salinity of between 3.1% and 3.8%, seawater is not uniformly saline throughout the world. Where mixing occurs with fresh water runoff from river mouths or near melting glaciers, seawater can be substantially less saline. The most saline open sea is the Red Sea, wher...

Full article: http://www.enn.com/climate/article/42716

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Arctic Snow and Ice Cool the Earth [image] #NASA

Arctic Snow and Ice Cool the Earth [image] #NASA

earthobservatory.nasa.gov 19 May '11, 12pm

Snow and ice play an important role in keeping our planet cool, though not in the way you might think. Snow and ice are br...