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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.32

Argo - A Decade of Progress

Howard J. Freeland(1), Dean Roemmich(2), Silvia L. Garzoli(3), Pierre-Yves LeTraon(4), Muthalagu Ravichandran(5), Stephen Riser(6), Virginie Thierry(7), Susan Wijffels(8), Mathieu Belbéoch(9), John Gould(10), Fiona Grant(11), Mark Ignazewski(12), Brian King(13), Birgit Klein(14), Kjell Arne Mork(15), Breck Owens(16), Sylvie Pouliquen(17), Andreas Sterl(18), Toshio Suga(19), Moon-Sik Suk(20), Philip Sutton(21), Ariel Troisi(22), Pedro Joaquin Vélez-Belchi (23), Jianping Xu(24)

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The primary goal of Argo, as enunciated in the original prospectus ([1], page 5), was to create a global network of instruments integrated with other elements of the climate observing system: -? to detect climate variability on seasonal to decadal time-scales. The targeted variability includes changes in the large-scale distribution of temperature and salinity and in the transport of these properties by large-scale ocean circulation. -? to deliver information needed for calibration of satellite measurements, and -? to provide data for initialization and constraint of climate models. To accomplish this it was proposed to deploy a large array of profiling floats measuring temperature and salinity to 2000 metres and reporting in real-time every 10 days. The proposal suggested a global spacing of 3° ? 3° which was based on (i) previous design studies from the global XBT networks, (ii) spatial statistics from satellite altimetry, and (iii) sampling experiments using WOCE hydrographic sections. The 3° ? 3° network would yield a formal error of estimation for near surface temperature of less than 0.5°C, which was equivalent to an error in bimonthly surface heat fluxes of 15 W/m2. Such spacing required an array of 3300 instruments between 60°S and 60°N. The instruments were planned to sample every 10 days, a choice informed by a need for many independent samples on seasonal and longer time-scales, knowledge of ocean variability and the existence of a satellite altimeter already sampling at 10-day intervals. A decade later, how well have these initial objectives been met?

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Road, PO Box 6000, Sidney V8L 4B2, B.C., Canada
2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0225, USA
3NOAA/AOML (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic Marine Laboratory), 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
4IFREMER (French Institute for Exploitation of the Sea/Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer), Centre de Brest, Technopôle de Brest Iroise, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
5INCOIS (Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services), P.B. No. 21, Gajularamaram, IDA Jeedimetla, Hyderabad 500 055, India
6School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Box 357940, Seattle, WA 98195-7940, U.S.A.,
7Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, UMR (Unités Mixtes de Recherche) 6523 IFREMER-CNRS- IRD-UBO (French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea/Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique- Institut de Recherches pour le Développement-University of Western Brittany), IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea/Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer), BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
8Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), Marine Laboratories, GPO Box 1538, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia
9JCOMMOPS (Joint World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology/in situ Observing Platform Support Centre), 8-10, rue Hermès, Parc Technologique du Canal, 31526, Ramonville, France
10National Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, U.K.
11Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
12FNMOC (Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center), 7 Grace Hopper Ave., Monterey, CA 93943, U.S.A.
13Southampton Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton SO14 3ZH, U.K.,
14Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, Bernhard-Nocht Straße 78, Hamburg, 20359, Germany
15Institute of Marine Research,, Nordnesgaten 50, 5817 Bergen, Norway
16Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Clark 207A, MS#29, Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A
17IFREMER (French Institute for Exploitation of the Sea/Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer), Centre de Brest, B.P. 70, 29280, Plouzané, France
18KNMI (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, The Netherlands
19Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aramaki Aza-Aoba 6-3, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8578, Japan
20KORDI (Korea Ocean Research and Development), 1270 Sa-dong, Ansan, Gyonggi, Republic of Korea
21NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), Greta Point, P.O. Box 14-901, Wellington, New Zealand
22Servicio de Hidrografía Naval, Ministerio de Defensa, Av. Montes de Oca 2124, C1270ABV Buenos Aires, Argentina
23Instituto Español de Oceanografia, Centro Oceanográfico de Canarias, Avda Tres de Mayo, N°73, 38006, Santa Cruz de Tenenerife, España
24SIO/SOA (Second Institute of Oceanography/State Oceanic Administrations), 36 Baochubei Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310012, China

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: howard.freeland@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

This paper shall be cited as:

Freeland, H. & Co-Authors (2010). "Argo - A Decade of Progress" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.32

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