Important changes in the distribution of BEC products

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Three years ago, the BEC team introduced a new method for the retrieval of SSS from SMOS data: the debiased non-Bayesian approach. The method was first used to derive the first maps of SMOS SSS in the Mediterranean.

After three years, we have extensively validated the method, first in the Mediterranean, then in the Arctic and finally globally.The debiased non-Bayesian approach is now a consolidated technique, and reportedly the one providing the best estimates of SSS using SMOS data in any area of the global ocean.

In the next months, we plan to introduce new improvements. Very soon, we are going to serve an extended series of improved Arctic SSS maps. And in some months from now, we will deliver the first SSS maps ever in a very challenging area: the Baltic Sea. And this is only the beginning: we plan to ensure an almost operational generation of all debiased non-Bayesian SSS maps (that is, the maps will be generated with a short delay, a few weeks at most).

With the debiased non-Bayesian SSS becoming operational and being by far our best SSS product, it was no longer meaningful to maintain the old “operational” brand: a line of Level 3&4 SSS products directly derived from ESA official L2 products. For that reason, as of November 13th, 2018, the Level 3 & 4 SSS maps derived from ESA L2 data are no longer available at this webpage. We will keep a copy of those data for two years. Any interested user can request them, but they will not be longer processed or extended.

Therefore, from now on there is only one brand of SSS products, that corresponds to the former “Advanced” family (debiased non-Bayesian). This brand is presented with different processing levels (Level 3 and Level 4), time and space resolutions, and is offered at global scale and for some selected regions (Arctic, Mediterranean and soon Baltic).

This is not the only upcoming change. In order to facilitate access to users, in some weeks from now we are going to substitute our present Thredds server by a new SFTP server. For technical reasons we cannot maintain both, so be aware that a given moment your Thredds scripts will no longer be valid, and you should move to the new sftp scripts. We will warn the users some days before the change, and the help desk will provide guidance to fix any trouble arising.

We foresee new changes in the next months, regarding formats, meta-data, grids and other conventions, and also including new variables. We also foresee to produce and distribute new products for new applications. We will soon survey our users to know their opinion before implementing that batch of changes, and we will inform them about the final outcome and decisions.

There are new, exciting times coming at BEC. Keep tuned!

The BEC team.