Released on September 23, 2015
Aquarius is an international effort to measure sea surface salinity and learn about the interaction between ocean circulation, the water cycle and climate. Besides salinity, Aquarius also measures sea surface temperature because salinity and temperature determines seawater density and buoyancy. Sea-surface density drives formation of ocean water masses and three-dimensional ocean circulation. Thus better understanding of ocean salinity and temperature improves understanding of the ocean's capacity to store and transport heat. The animation shows the changes of sea surface temporature from September 7, 2011 to May 20, 2015.