Day 4

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Paper title Satellite-based Sea Surface Salinity for improving the knowledge of the role of sea ice in the polar regions and global climate system
  1. Estrella Olmedo Institut of Marine Sciences Speaker
  2. Carolina Gabarró Prats ICM/CSIC
  3. Cristina González-Haro Institute of Marine Sciences - ICM-CSIC-BEC
  5. Aina García-Espriu Institute of Marine Sciences, ICM-CSIC-BEC
  6. Antonio Turiel Institute of Marine Sciences - CSIC
  7. Nina Hoareau Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC)
  8. Marta Umbert Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC)
Form of presentation Poster
  • A5. Climate
    • A5.02 The role of Earth Observation in climate services
Abstract text The dynamics of the Sea Ice affects the global Earth system. Changes in polar climate have an impact across the world, affecting lives and livelihoods, and regulating the climate and the weather. CRiceS (Climate relevant interactions and feedback: the key role of sea ice and snow in the polar and global climate system) is a recent European project aiming at understanding the role of ocean-ice/snow-atmosphere interactions in polar and global climate. The main objective of CRiceS is to deliver improved understanding of the physical, chemical, and biogeochemical interactions within the Ocean/Ice/Atmosphere system, new knowledge of polar and global climate, and enhanced ability of society to respond to climate change.

One of the variables that plays a key role for a better understanding of the ocean/Ice/atmosphere dynamics is Sea Surface Salinity (SSS). SSS allows monitoring changes in sea ice by means of the study of their positive anomalies (associated to sea ice formation and evaporation) and negative anomalies (associated with melting and precipitation). The acquisition of in situ salinity measurements in polar regions is very complicated because of the distance and the extreme weather conditions. Therefore, measurements acquired by satellites become the unique way of having a continuous and synoptic monitoring of the sea surface salinity in polar regions.

Acquisitions of L-band satellite SSS in polar regions, and particularly those by ESA SMOS mission, are hampered by the decrease of sensitivity of brightness temperatures to SSS in cold waters. Recently, these difficulties have been overcome in a dedicated project from ESA (Arctic+ Salinity) over the Arctic Ocean, leading to satellite SSS measurements with enough quality to address many scientific studies.

However, in the Southern Ocean, since the salinity variability is not as large as in the Arctic Ocean, current quality of L-band brightness temperatures does not always allow assessing the seasonal and interannual salinity dynamics of the region. For this reason, reducing brightness temperature errors in this region is one of the major requirements to obtain SSS of enough quality to address scientific studies here.

In the framework of the ESA regional initiative called SO-FRESH, new and enhanced algorithms to reduce the brightness temperature errors have been applied for generating a new SMOS SSS regional product in the Southern Ocean. In this work, we will use the enhanced SMOS SSS product generated in this project and we will present a preliminary quality assessment by: i) comparing with in situ measurements; ii) analysing the uncertainty estimations by means of correlated triple collocation analysis; iii) analysing the seasonal behaviour by using harmonic analysis; and iv) assessing its effective spatial resolution with singularity and spectral analysis. Finally, we will show the capability of this product of improving the description of the Ocean Ice and Atmospheric system in numerical models which is one of the main scientific objectives of CRiceS.