A Delta II rocket has launched and is delivering Aquarius ocean salinity monitoring satellite into space. The Aquarius satellite will measure ocean surface salinity every seven days with a precision down to a pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon) in a gallon of water – from 408 miles above the earth.
Why is this important? This VIDEO CLICK HERE (2 min) explains why.
When I watched this video, I thought: “Wait a minute – I thought the science was settled, and that the models were pretty much fine-tuned and all.” But as you see in the video, three scientists are telling us there are still lots of data gaps that need to be filled in, and that this will take years to do.
The clip starts with NASA scientists Gary Lagerloef, Amit Sen and Yi Chao explaining why salinity is so important. Amit Sen says (emphasis added):
But yet we do not know one of the fundamental properties that effect climate, which is the density, the concentration of salt of the ocean.”
Yi Chao then says:
Salinity is one of the missing parameters we have never measured from space before.”
We have no salinity samples at all from parts of the world, particularly in the southern hemisphere, the South Pacific, South Atlantic and southeren Indian Oceans. So there is a big data gap.”
Salinity is one of the measurements we need to fill in an important gap to do that very thing.”
Fine. But why not first fill in these “big data gaps” first before drawing final conclusions and settling on predetermined outcomes? Has no one ever told any of you how the scientific process works? And please don’t be so arrogant to think that you know the answer beforehand. Everyone knows that nobody is that clever.
One option I suppose would be to just extrapolate salinity concentrations at locations up to 1200 miles away from measured high salinity points, like your boss Hansen does with surface temperatures. The advantage is that it allows you to get the answer you want. I mean, after all, people in your field do this routinely.
Obviously the status of the science depends on who the scientists are speaking to. When they’re talking to policymakers, then they have have plenty of data to predict the future – even 100 or 200 years ahead! But when they are talking to people who decide the funding, then suddenly there are big data gaps – and everywhere!
Of course, we all know that the latter is true, and lots of data is still needed before one can even start to understand the complex system that is climate. And forget models that can predict 100 years down the road. It’ll be decades, if ever, before we reach that level of performance.