20 Jul 2022
20 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Assimilation of sea surface salinities from SMOS in an Arctic coupled ocean and sea ice reanalysis

Jiping Xie1, Roshin P. Raj1, Laurent Bertino1, Justino Martínez2, Carolina Gabarró2,3, and Rafael Catany4 Jiping Xie et al.
  • 1Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 2Institute of Marine Sciences, ICM-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Barcelona Expert Center, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4ARGANS, Plymouth, UK

Abstract. In the Arctic, the sea surface salinity (SSS) plays a key role in processes related to water mixing and sea ice. However, the lack of salinity observations causes large uncertainties in Arctic Ocean forecasts and reanalysis. Recently the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite mission was used by the Barcelona Expert Centre to propose an Arctic SSS product.

In this study, we evaluate the impact of assimilating this data in a coupled ocean-ice data assimilation system. Using the Ensemble Kalman filter from July to December 2016, two assimilation runs assimilated two successive versions of the SMOS SSS product, on top of a pre-existing reanalysis run. The runs were validated against independent in situ salinity profiles in the Arctic. The results show that the biases and the Root Mean Squared Differences (RMSD) of SSS are reduced by 10 % to 50 % depending on areas and put the latest product to its advantage. The time series of Freshwater Content (FWC) further show that its seasonal cycle can be adjusted by assimilation of the SSS products, which is encouraging for its use in a long-time reanalysis to monitor the Arctic water cycle.

Jiping Xie et al.

Status: open (until 14 Sep 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-660', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Aug 2022 reply

Jiping Xie et al.

Jiping Xie et al.


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Short summary
Sea ice melt together with other freshwater sources have effects on the Arctic environment. The sea surface salinity (SSS) plays a key role to represent the water mixing. Recently the satellite SSS from SMOS was developed in Arctic region. In this study, we firstly evaluate the impact of assimilating this satellite data in an Arctic reanalysis system. It shows the SSS errors are reduced by 10–50 % depending on areas, encouraging its use in a long-time reanalysis to monitor the Arctic water cycle.