Sea Salt Holds Clues To Climate Change

Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft, scheduled for launch in May 2010. It will be the first NASA instrument to measure sea salinity from space.

New research in United Kingdom (U.K.) suggests that the amount of salt in seawater is varying in direct response to  climate change. Working  with data collected over the past 50 years, Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office in Exeter, England, studied whether or not human-induced climate change could be responsible for rises in salinity that have been recorded in the subtropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Comparing the data to climate models that correct for naturally occurring salinity variations in the ocean, He found that man-made global warming — over and above any possible natural sources of global warming, such as carbon dioxide given off by volcanoes or increases in the heat output of the sun — may be responsible for making parts of the North Atlantic Ocean more salty.

Salinity levels are important mainly  for two reasons. First, along with temperature, they directly affect seawater density (salty water is denser than freshwater) and therefore the circulation of ocean currents from the tropics to the poles. These currents control how heat is redidtributed within the oceans and ultimately regulate the world’s climate. Second, sea surface salinity is intimately linked to  water cycle and to how much freshwater leaves and enters the oceans through evaporation and precipitation. Measuring salinity is one way to probe the water cycle .

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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in climate change, oceans. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sea Salt Holds Clues To Climate Change

  1. Pingback: Salinity in Oceans | Rashid's Blog

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