The international Argo programme was launched in 1999 as a pilot project endorsed by the World Meteorological Organization, GOOS, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. The Argo network is a global array of more than 3500 autonomous floats, deployed throughout the ocean, reporting subsurface ocean properties such as temperature and salinity to a wide range of users via satellite transmission links to data centres.
In 2001, the Argo programme succeeded in setting up the first-ever global in-situ ocean observing network, thanks to an international effort by a group of organisations in more than 25 countries. The Euro-Argo European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) was established in 2014 as part of this global ecosystem and is now one of the key data infrastructures contributing to the Blue-Cloud framework.
In order to gain a better understanding of Euro-Argo's role in Blue-Cloud, we have interviewed Thierry Carval, Data Manager at IFREMER, who offered a comprehensive overview of its main qualities and the mutual benefits Euro-Argo and Blue-Cloud are bringing each other.
Euro-Argo ERIC supports research and development on the instruments and sensors for in-situ ocean observing, as well as the deployment of the floats in European seas.
Then there is work on data management. Our goal is to collect, decode, quality-control, and distribute data to the Argo community and to the scientific community.
Argo floats collect data for several years, sampling sections of the ocean in a range from 2000 meters of depth to the surface. These in-situ measurements are then received in real time continously via the Euro-Argo IT infrastructure, providing data for 24/7 processing for the benefit of end users. It is one of the main data infrastructures employed by the Blue-Cloud consortium, in particular in the context of the Marine Environmental Indicators demonstrator.
Argo made a revolution in terms of observing the ocean. For the past 20 years, Argo floats have been deployed and are continuously measuring in-situ data in the ocean, making them freely available in real-time and in then in delayed mode. [...] The latter is high-quality data available to scientists, crucial for understanding in detail the behaviour and changes in the ocean.
In case you missed them, check out the other Blue-Cloud interviews