This real-time animation, updated monthly, maps the distribution of the surface salinity levels on the world’s oceans, giving scientists an unparalleled view of the global ocean circulation processes. Overall, salinity plays a key role in general ocean circulation dynamics, global water cycles (evaporation, precipitation, water vapor, etc.), climate and sea ice extent. The Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity data is produced by NASA. The oceans are shaded according to the observed concentrations of salt on the ocean surface using practical salinity units.