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Title: How Salty Is the Global Ocean: Weighing It All or Tasting It a Sip at a Time?
Abstract

Global ocean mean salinityis a key indicator of the Earth's hydrological cycle and the exchanges of freshwater between land and ocean, but its determination remains a challenge. Aside from traditional methods based on gridded salinity fields derived from in situ measurements, we explore estimates ofbased on liquid freshwater changes derived from space gravimetry data corrected for sea ice effects. For the 2005–2019 period analyzed, the differentseries show little consistency in seasonal, interannual, and long‐term variability. In situ estimates show sensitivity to choice of product and unrealistic variations. A suspiciously large rise insince ∼2015 is enough to measurably affect halosteric sea level estimates and can explain recent discrepancies in the global mean sea level budget. Gravimetry‐basedestimates are more realistic, inherently consistent with estimated freshwater contributions to global mean sea level, and provide a way to calibrate the in situ estimates.

 
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Award ID(s):
2021274
NSF-PAR ID:
10374702
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume:
48
Issue:
11
ISSN:
0094-8276
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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