EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Overview of the CCI+SSS project

Jacqueline Boutin1, Nicolas Reul2, Julia Koehler3, Adrien Martin4, Rafael Catany5, and Climate Change Initiative Salinity Consortium
Jacqueline Boutin et al.
  • 1CNRS, Sorbonne Université, LOCEAN/IPSL, PARIS, France (
  • 2IFREMER, Toulon, France
  • 3University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 4NOC, Southampton, UK
  • 5ARGANS, Plymouth, UK

Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) is an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) that plays a fundamental role in the density-driven global ocean circulation, the water cycle, and climate. The satellite SSS observation from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS), Aquarius, and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) missions have provided an unprecedented opportunity to map SSS over the global ocean since 2010 at 40-150km scale with a revisit every 2 to 3 days. This observation capability has no historic precedent and has brought new findings concerning the monitoring of SSS variations related with climate variability such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean Dipole, and Madden-Julian Oscillation, and the linkages of the ocean with different elements of the water cycle such as evaporation and precipitation and continental runoff. It has enhanced the understanding of various ocean processes such as tropical instability waves, Rossby waves, mesoscale eddies and related salt transport, salinity fronts, hurricane haline wake, river plume variability, cross-shelf exchanges. There are also emerging use of satellite SSS to study ocean biogeochemistry, e.g. linked to air-sea CO2 fluxes.

Following the success of the initial oceanographic studies implementing this new variable, the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative CCI+SSS project (2018-2020) aims at generating improved calibrated global SSS fields over 10 years period (2010-2019) from all available satellite L-band radiometer measurements, extended at regional scale to 2002-2019 from C-band radiometer measurements. It fully exploits the ESA/Earth explorer SMOS mission complemented with SMAP and AQUARIUS satellite missions. The project gathers teams involved in earth observation remote sensing, in the validation of satellite data and in climate variability study. In this presentation, we will present the first CCI+SSS product released to the scientific community ( The comparisons with in situ ground truth indicate much better performances than the ones obtained with a single satellite data product, with global rmsd against in situ references of 0.16 pss. Large scale interannual variability is successfully reproduced and SSS variability in very variable regions like the Bay of Bengale and in river plumes in the Atlantic Ocean is very satisfactory, confirming the usefulness of these products for scientific studies. Nevertheless we also identify some caveats that will be discussed as well as the ways envisaged to resolve part of them in the next version of the product to be delivered publicly in Summer 2020.

The ESA CCI+SSS consortium gathers scientists and engineers from various European research institutes and companies (LOCEAN/IPSL, LOPS, University of Hamburg, NOC, ICM, ARGANS, ACRI-st, ODL) and is conducted in collaboration with US colleagues from NASA and Remote Sensing System.

How to cite: Boutin, J., Reul, N., Koehler, J., Martin, A., Catany, R., and Salinity Consortium, C. C. I.: Overview of the CCI+SSS project, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7513,, 2020

Comments on the presentation

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Presentation version 2 – uploaded on 03 May 2020 , no comments
Addition of page numbers Change last sentence of slide 10
Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 29 Apr 2020 , no comments