Simulated high-resolution ocean-surface currents as expected from ESA’s Earth Explorer 9 candidate SKIM mission. The satellite would carry a novel wide-swath scanning multibeam radar altimeter to measure ocean-surface currents. Uniquely, it uses a Doppler technique, which offers more direct measurements than conventional satellite altimeters. These new measurements would improve our understanding of vertical and horizontal ocean–surface dynamics over the global ocean every few days. This would lead to better knowledge of how the ocean and atmosphere interact – for example, how atmospheric carbon dioxide is drawn down into the ocean.