Science Meetings

Comparison of Argo and Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity Probability Distributions
Mannshardt, E., Sucic, K., Fuentes, M., and Bingham, F. (11-Nov-14)

Using Argo in situ and Aquarius version 3.0 sea surface salinity, we compare measured salinity across metric distributions. In addition to traditional comparisons between mean or median values, the 1%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 90% and 99% quantiles of the statistical distributions are compared. The datasets compare well at the median, which is to be expected as the Aquarius retrieval algorithm is based on calibration with Argo central characteristics. The datasets are less similar at the tails of the distributions, especially in the lower tail. In general, Argo data are much peakier, with more of the observations concentrated in the center of the distribution. This is true across seasons, ocean basins and hemispheres. Aquarius is better able to capture the low and high tail values which are most prevalent during periods when the surface salinity is rapidly changing.