The South AtLantic ocean seasonal to INterannual vAriability : new SMOS perspectives

This training proposes to scientifically exploit Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) from the SMOS ESA Earth Explorers mission to investigate the role of the Subtropical Southern Atlantic (SSA) ocean in the ocean and climate variability. The SSA is characterized by strong contrasts of SSS that result from ocean circulation and air-sea fluxes. The SSA is a key oceanic region with strong potential impacts on the seasonal to interannual ocean and climate variability. In particular, it is a region where the upper saline northward branch of the buoyancy driven thermohaline circulation and the wind driven surface Sub-Tropical Cells (STCs) are coupled. However, these circulations are also very closely related with the ocean mesoscale processes. Until now, the contribution of the various processes to the seasonal to interannual ocean and climate variability remains poorly known. A significant barrier to this knowledge was a lack of in situ data, in particular salinity data. This training will take advantage of the improved spatio-temporal sampling of SMOS SSS measurements, complemented by other satellite and in situ measurements, to better document and quantify the mesoscale circulation, the physical air/sea interaction, and the subduction processes. Their impacts on mass, heat and salt transport in the SSA will be assessed.

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