Global Ocean Salinity Change, 1950-2008 (Durack-Wijffels)

Teaser image
Global Ocean Salinity Change, 1950-2008 (Durack-Wijffels)
Main content

Using data from the Indian Ocean Hydrobase (IOHB) (Kobayashi et al., 2006), Hydrobase2 (Curry, 2002), and Southern Ocean Atlas (Orsi and Whitworth, 2010) databases along with the improved spatial and temporal coverage provided by ARGO profiling data, new estimates of ocean salinity and temperature change (0-2000m) for the period 1950-2008 are derived. The data have been used to track changes in the hydrological cycle associated with global warming.

Key Strengths

Key Strengths

Combines temporally and spatially sparse high-quality hydrographic data with improved global coverage provided by Argo data since around 2004

Analysis attempts to minimise aliasing associated with the seasonal and major global El Nino-Southern Oscillation modes.

Error estimates provided

Key Limitations

Key Limitations

The historical hydrographic database is temporally and spatially sparse, with very poor coverage in the Southern Hemisphere prior to the Argo period (2004-present).

Please cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions
Suggested Data Citation
  1. When using this data, please cite Durack & Wijffels, 2010 and include recognition of the global Argo program in the acknowledgements: "This analysis is based on data made freely available by the International Argo Program and the national programs that contribute to it ("

Dataset DOIs
Hosted Climate Index Files
Usage Restrictions

Cite this page

Acknowledgement of any material taken from or knowledge gained from this page is appreciated:

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified "The Climate Data Guide: Global Ocean Salinity Change, 1950-2008 (Durack-Wijffels).” Retrieved from on 2024-04-17.

Citation of datasets is separate and should be done according to the data providers' instructions. If known to us, data citation instructions are given in the Data Access section, above.

Acknowledgement of the Climate Data Guide project is also appreciated:

Schneider, D. P., C. Deser, J. Fasullo, and K. E. Trenberth, 2013: Climate Data Guide Spurs Discovery and Understanding. Eos Trans. AGU, 94, 121–122,

Key Figures

50-year mean (left) and changes (right) to global ocean surface salinity

50-year mean (left) and changes (right) to global ocean surface salinity (contributed by P. Durack)

50-year zonal mean changes global ocean salinity

50-year zonal mean changes global ocean salinity (contributed by P. Durack)

Other Information

Earth system components and main variables
Type of data product
Dataset collections

Years of record
Data time period extended
Yes, data set is extended
Input Data

Argo float data, ocean hydrographic database

Vertical Levels:
Missing Data Flag
Spatially complete
Ocean or Land
Ocean Only
Spatial Resolution

1 degree latitude (70S to 70N), 2 degrees longitude (0 to 358), 66 vertical levels (0 to 2000 dbar)

Model Resolution (reanalysis)
Data Assimilation Method
Model Vintage (reanalysis)