Science Webinars: Key Scientific Connections

SPURS cruise path
In this May 2011 webinar, Principal Investigator Gary Lagerloef and Project Scientist Yi Chao talk about the milestones leading up to the launch of NASA's first space-based measurements of ocean salinity across the globe - an important observation for ocean and climate studies.

The Aquarius Mission: Key Scientific Connections
From 650 kilometers (400 miles) above Earth's surface, Aquarius detected changes in ocean salinity as small as a "pinch" of salt in a gallon of water. Two weeks before the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite launched, these eminent scientists shared their stories about the technological development of the mission and key scientific connections between salinity, the water cycle, ocean circulation and climate.

How was the Technology for Aquarius Developed? Yi Chao illustrates the history and technology behind Aquarius (view concept map)

How Would You Summarize the Effects of Sea Surface Salinity on Ocean Circulation? Gary Lagerloef explains the science goals and broader implications of studying sea surface salinity (view concept map)

How Does Understanding Salinity Help Us Understand Climate Change? Gary and Yi explain the challenges of studying climate at different time scales (view concept map)

About the Presenters
Gary Lagerloef

Dr. Gary Lagerloef completed a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography at the University of Washington in 1984. From 1988-1990, he served as the NASA Physical Oceanography Program Manager in the ocean science remote sensing program. In 1995, he co-founded Earth and Space Research, a non-profit scientific research institute in Seattle where he has developed several research projects devoted to studies of the upper ocean dynamics and climate variability using satellites. Dr. Lagerloef was appointed by NASA to lead the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite mission in December 2003.

Yi Chao

Dr. Yi Chao received his Ph.D. from Princeton University (Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Program, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory). His research interests include satellite oceanography with a particular focus on coastal oceans; ocean modeling, data assimilation and forecasting. interdisciplinary science of coupling ocean circulation with ecosystem and air-sea interactions; and climate variability and change.