About ARGO
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 A bout ARGO Project

ARGO project has the purpose of the constructing the global net of oceanographic stations on the base of subsurface floats measuring the temperature and salinity (PALACE). This net is constructing for purposes of long-time weather forecast and for operative needs of navies. Together with net of surface floats (as meteorological as oceanographic) it is the base of operative oceanography. The float technology has been developed during World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE).

The gole of ARGO project is to distribute in the World Ocean up to 3,000 profiling floats to the end of 2003 (that will provide about 100,000 T/S profiles per year).

In addition to profile information, the float drifts will give the absolute speed of flow at a reference depth. Some of floats have a profile depth that is different from the parking depth, and could be variable from station to station.

The ARGO measurements of temperature, salinity, pressure and reference velocity, together with sea surface height from satellite altimetric data, give unic data on water condition. Floats provide vertical structure of temperature, salinity and velocity that is needed for climatic atmosphere and ocean models.

By ARGO spirit all ARGO data would be available in near real-time via the GTS. A quality-controlled data (delayed) would be available from the data centers (via Internet) with a delay of a few months.

Global coverage should be achieved during the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE), which together with CLIVAR and GCOS/GOOS, provide scientific and operational bases for ARGO.

ARGO got the status of international scientific programme within the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (XX-6) and the World Meteorological Organization(WMO).

In spite of PALACE floats were used before the official beginning of the ARGO, this project formally begun in 2000. Lets note that some PALACE floats work out of ARGO project also.

Once it is implemented, the ARGO array should work for at least 10 years provided that regular oceanographic observations.
Such constantnet of oceanographic stations gives:

  • high quality ocean global climatology;
  • time-series of temperature/salinity structure and volume of heat;
  • large-scale ocean circulation and heat transport;
  • data for real-time global ocean forecasting for the first time.

In a future floats could change the level of their drift.

At ARGO Science Team meetings (1st- in March, 1999; second- in March, 2000; third- in March 2001) practical problems such as deployment techniques, communications, salinity accuracy and distribution of floats, national plans were discussed.

International planning for ARGO is coordinated by the ARGO Science Team. Nations having national ARGO plans that include float procurement or production and deployment include Australia, Canada, France, Japan, U.K., U.S.A., European Union, plus Russia. Broad participation by many nations is essential for world-wide scale project.