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Maritime Forum

Map of the Week - Argo Floats

The Map of the Week shows the position of Argo floats currently in the ocean and seas worldwide. Argo floats collect environmental ocean data, including measurements of the temperature and salinity of the upper 2,000 m of the ocean as well as current...


This week, the 7th Argo Science Workshop titled ‘OneArgo for a changing ocean’ took place on 11-13 October at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBIN) in Brussels (Belgium). This international workshop, hosted by Euro-Argo, was organised in the framework of the Euro-Argo RISE and EuroSea projects , funded from the European Union’s Horizon H2020 research and innovation programme. It was endorsed by Clivar, and by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The Argo network is a global array of more than 3,500 autonomous instruments, deployed in the ocean, reporting subsurface ocean properties to a wide range of users via satellite transmission links to data centres. The international Argo programme was initiated in 1999 as a pilot project endorsed by the Climate Research Program of the World Meteorological Organization, GOOS, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Thanks to an international collaboration of more than 25 countries started in 2001, the Argo programme succeeded in setting up the first-ever global in-situ ocean observing network in the history of oceanography. [1] The Euro-Argo ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) allows active coordination and strengthening of the European contribution to the international Argo programme. Euro-Argo ERIC is a key infrastructure supplying crucial ocean observation data to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) particularly for data on physics and chemistry parameters. To formalise the ongoing dialogues and relationship between EMODnet and the Euro‐Argo ERIC, EMODnet and Euro-ARGO ERIC jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July 2022. [2]

Did you know that there is a map on Argo floats in the European Atlas of the Seas, which is operated by the EMODnet Secretariat? Dive in the Map of the Week to learn more about these oceanographic instruments and click on the symbols in the map to get more details! Argo floats are automated with data transmitted and made publicly available within a few hours after collection. In 20 years, Argo ocean floats have achieved 2 million ocean profiles. The data are revolutionising our knowledge of ocean dynamics and heat content. Data are also assimilated in near real-time into operational computer models to produce short-term predictions of currents and temperature, seasonal-to-interannual forecasting (e.g. El Niño), and for longer-term decadal predictions of the ocean/atmosphere climate system, such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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The data in this map are provided by EMODnet.