Transcripts of AquariusTour-YT

[00:00:00.00] [ music ]
[00:00:07.00] Earth’s climate and the circulation of deep ocean currents are strongly influenced by the saltiness of the sea surface. So why don’t we have detailed maps that show its rapid changes?
[00:00:19.20] Well, now we do.
[00:00:22.00] After more than a year of continuous measurements, NASA’s Aquarius instrument aboard the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft has given us this new space-based view of sea surface salinity.
[00:00:34.15] A closer look at the data reveals some fascinating features.
[00:00:39.10] Our focus first turns to a salty patch of water in the North Atlantic Ocean.
[00:00:45.00] Evaporation of water from the sea surface leaves behind large amounts of salt that contribute to the active zone of high salinity water seen here.
[00:01:00.10] Conditions are different in the North Pacific Ocean.
[00:01:04.00] Near the equator, in one of the wettest regions on the planet, heavy rainfall adds an abundance of water to the sea surface.
[00:01:12.00] This results in the dark-blue band of low salinity water off the coast of South America and Central America.
[00:01:23.00] Rivers can also influence the amount of salt on the sea surface.
[00:01:27.25] Every second, millions of gallons of fresh water flows from the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean.
[00:01:35.15] The effect of this is a sinuous plume of low salinity water that extends from the mouth of this great river.
[00:01:44.45] At high latitudes, the seasonal melting of sea ice causes a sharp decrease in sea surface salinity.
[00:01:52.00] We see examples of this in the Labrador Sea and the coastal waters that surround Greenland.
[00:01:58.00] In spring and summer, surface currents transport the low salinity water south, where it meets warmer and saltier water carried north by the Gulf Stream.
[00:02:13.20] The contrasting patches of high salinity water to the west and low salinity water to the east of the Indian subcontinent are due to a combination of geography and climate.
[00:02:24.15] To the west, an arid climate and lack of freshwater input yields the salty waters of the Arabian Sea.
[00:02:31.15] To the east, monsoon rains and freshwater outflow from the Ganges River keep the Bay of Bengal far less salty.
[00:02:42.00] Without satellite observations, these global changes would be largely invisible to us.
[00:02:48.15] Ongoing measurements by Aquarius will help scientists better understand our vast oceans and how changes to ocean circulation and the transport of water through the atmosphere may impact Earth’s climate.
[00:03:04.11] [ beeps ]