Data in Action: Unveiling small-scale ocean circulation through high-resolution Sea Surface Height

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PODAAC - colleen
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Data in Action: Unveiling small-scale ocean circulation through high-resolution Sea Surface Height

by PODAAC - colleen » Fri Sep 15, 2023 1:24 pm America/New_York

Since the early 1990s, satellite altimeters have been used to measure sea surface height (SSH) from space. The SSH maps generated have widespread use among the scientific and operational oceanography and climate science community including monitoring the global mean sea level and El Niño Southern Oscillation, predicting hurricane intensification, tracking large scale eddies and oceanic fronts, and estimating ocean circulation, among others.

Up until now, these altimeters have been monitoring SSH at mesoscale. The spatial resolution of the SSH maps has been evolving from ~300 km in the 1990s to ~100 km at present. However, SSH measurements at even higher resolution are necessary for effectively monitoring the vertical transport of heat and carbon within the ocean, which is....

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https://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/DataAction-2022-09-15-Unveiling-small-scale-ocean-circulation-through-high-resolution-Sea-Surface-Height

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cara.perez
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Re: Data in Action: Unveiling small-scale ocean circulation through high-resolution Sea Surface Height

by cara.perez » Tue Sep 19, 2023 3:23 pm America/New_York

Here is my summarization after reading:

Satellite altimeters have been measuring ocean surface height since the 1990s. They help us understand sea levels, predict things like El Niño and hurricanes, and study ocean currents.

Recently, the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite came along, allowing us to see even more ocean details. It's like going from seeing mountains and valleys to also spotting hills and streams on Earth.

In an animation, you can see the ocean's surface isn't flat; it has ups (red) and downs (blue) caused by things like air pressure and tides. The animation also shows wavy patterns created by underwater waves. These details help us learn about the ocean and its impact on our planet.

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