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NASA's Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts | by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
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NASA's Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts

The analysis of NASA's Aquarius instrument's first year of global salinity data reveals that neighboring areas of the ocean can have very different characteristics: The Arabian Sea, nestled up against the dry Middle East, appears much saltier than the adjacent Bay of Bengal, which gets showered by intense monsoon rains and receives freshwater discharges from the Ganges and other large rivers.


Launched June 10, 2011, onboard the Argentinian spacecraft Aquarius/Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D, Aquarius is NASA’s first satellite instrument specifically designed to study the salt content of ocean surface waters. Salinity variations, one of the main drivers of ocean circulation, are closely connected with the cycling of freshwater around the planet and provide scientists with valuable information on how the changing global climate is altering global rainfall patterns.


To learn more about the Aquarius' first-year discoveries, visit:


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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Taken on February 27, 2013