The Marine Research Infrastructures team operate and manage Ireland's contribution to Argo - a global array of autonomous floats or profilers, deployed across the world's oceans, reporting subsurface ocean water properties to a wide range of users via satellite transmission links to data centers. Argo floats measure temperature and salinity from the upper 2,000 m of the ocean and these two essential climate variables describe the oceans’ physical and thermodynamic state. The Argo array is an indispensable component of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) required to understand and monitor the role of the ocean in the Earth’s climate system, in particular the heat and water balance. The international Argo programme currently has a network of approximately 4,000 Argo floats taking measurements in the world’s oceans and is integrated into the Copernicus programme and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
Image courtesy of the Euro-Argo ERIC Office
The Euro-Argo European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) was founded in 2014 and is a legal entity created by EU Member States allowing them to join their efforts to provide free and open data to climate research and operational oceanography, and to sustain 25% of Argo International’s global fleet of 4000 autonomous floats.
The Euro-Argo ERIC has implemented a float deployment strategy, which was developed with the input from the Member States, and coordinates the European contribution to the Argo network. It has increased sampling in areas of specific European interest e.g. marginal seas (Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea), and high latitudes (regions seasonally covered by sea ice e.g. Nordic Seas, the Arctic and Southern Oceans). It has also developed sensor and float technology e.g. deep Argo floats that profile down to abyssal depths and floats that measure biogeochemical parameters (e.g. oxygen, pH, nitrate, chlorophyll-a, suspended particles, and downwelling irradiance). The ERIC office has developed a web-based at-sea monitoring system capable of monitoring the entire European fleet and individual floats. These activities are performed in collaboration with both the Argo Information Centre (AIC) and the Coriolis Data Centre.
More information on the Argo programme and Euro-Argo can be found at the following links:
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