TUESDAY TRIVIA: Which Ocean Is the Saltiest?

There are areas of higher and lower salinity in every ocean.

Which ocean is the saltiest?

According to the National Weather Service, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest. However, it says that on average, there is a decrease of salinity near the equator and at both poles for different reasons.

“Near the equator, the tropics receive the most rain on a consistent basis. As a result, the fresh water falling into the ocean helps decrease the salinity of the surface water in that region,” the National Weather Service explains on its website. “As one moves toward the poles, the region of rain decreases and with less rain and more sunshine, evaporation increases. Fresh water, in the form of water vapor, moves from the ocean to the atmosphere through evaporation causing the higher salinity.” However, “toward the poles, fresh water from melting ice decreases the surface salinity once again.”

The saltiest locations in the ocean are the regions where evaporation is highest or in large bodies of water where there is no outlet into the ocean. The least salty ocean is the Arctic Ocean.