Desalination and Water Reuse - Home
Search for
The International Desalination & Water Reuse Quarterly industry website
Subscribe  
About us   Feedback   Register   Contact   Advertise   Links   Cookies  

Site Sponsor




What is RSS?
List of feeds
Desalination news on your website?

NASA voyage seeks ocean salinity/climate answers


The NASA salinity research vessel [image: NASA]
An expedition to the most saline part of the North Atlantic ocean set sail on 6 September 2012 as part of a multi-year mission to get a detailed 3D picture of how salt content fluctuates in the ocean's upper layers and how this relates to shifts in rainfall patterns around the planet.

Sponsored by the US National Aeronautic & Space Administration (NASA), data from the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) will also help to calibrate salinity measurements which have been collected by NASA's satellite-based Aquarius instrument since August 2011.

The researchers will spend about three weeks at the Atlantic surface salinity maximum, located halfway between the Bahamas and the western coast of North Africa. They will deploy instruments and taking salinity, temperature and other measurements, before sailing to the Azores to complete the voyage on 9 October 2012.

Their new data will aid understanding of one of the most worrisome effects of climate change - the acceleration of Earth's water cycle. As global temperatures go up, evaporation increases, altering the frequency, strength and distribution of rainfall around the planet, with far- reaching implications for life on Earth.

Oceanographers believe the ocean retains a better record of changes in precipitation than land and translates these changes into variations in the salt concentration of its surface waters. Scientists studying the salinity records of the past 50 years say they already see the footprint of an increase in the speed of the water cycle.

The places in the ocean where evaporation has increased and rain has become scarcer have turned saltier over time, while the spots that now receive more rain have become fresher. This acceleration ultimately may exacerbate droughts and floods around the planet. Some climate models, however, predict less dramatic changes in the global water cycle.

"With SPURS we hope to find out why these climate models do not track our observations of changing salinities," said Eric Lindstrom, physical oceanography program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington. "We will investigate to what extent the observed salinity trends are a signature of a change in evaporation and precipitation over the ocean versus the ocean's own processes, such as the mixing of salty surface waters with deeper and fresher waters or the sideways transport of salt."

Posted on 07 September 2012  



Get D&WR's news every week in our free newsletter. Register now - that's free too!

Email  Send to a friend   Print  Printer friendly   Print  Link to this page    Comment

Source: Desalination & Water Reuse



This story is tagged as:

Research | Salinity | Seawater | USA
Click on a keyword to see more stories on that topic

Share this
del.icio.us   digg   technorati cosmos   blinklist   reddit   newsvine   nowpublic   stumbleUpon   Add to diigo
Retweet this on Twitter Facebook  

Make a comment?
Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to login.



© Faversham House Group Ltd 2012. Desalination & Water Reuse news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

Register Now!



Related Stories

Nine desalination studies bag US$ 1.4 million funding
Texas Desalination Association plans September conference
Reused wastewater disinfection reports published by WRRF
Clear support for desalination in Soquel Water District
WateReuse launches video about urban water cycle
June deadline for Paul L Bush award nominations
Graphene frameworks 'can make desalination 100x faster'
Deadline soon for NWRI-AMTA Fellowship applications
Desalination pilot-study funding approved for Corpus Christi
Carollo to evaluate restarting Santa Barbara desalination





Subscribe  
About us   Feedback   Register   Contact   Advertise   Links   Cookies  

Faversham House  
Other Faversham House Websites include
edie.net | Sustainabilitylive! | Utility Week


Cookies
We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. They are small text files we put in your browser to track and assist usage of our site but, with the exception of cookies that help you log in, they don't tell us who you are.
You can control cookies in your browser settings. If you use our site it implies that you consent to our cookie usage. To find out more about how we use cookies and how you can control them, click here to see our cookie policy.