Water Cycle Effects on Ocean Salinity[23-Feb-09] Sea surface salinity is a key tracer for understanding how fresh water cycles in and out of the ocean. This is because whereas some parts of the water cycle increase salinity, while other parts decrease it. Earth's "water cycle" is dominated by exchanges between the ocean and atmosphere. In fact, 86% of global evaporation and 78% of global precipitation occur over the ocean. Although the amount of salt in the ocean is relatively constant on time scales of years to decades, ocean surface salinity patterns vary constantly because of freshwater input and output. Credit: NASA Aquarius.
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