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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00439

On the future of Argo: A global, full-depth, multi-disciplinary array

  • 1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, United States
  • 2UMR7093 Laboratoire d'océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), France
  • 3Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), United States
  • 4National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 5Oregon State University, United States
  • 6CSIRO Oceans and Atmopshere, Australia
  • 7Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States
  • 8Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), France
  • 9Tohoku University, Japan
  • 10University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 11Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA), United States
  • 12JCOMMOPS, France
  • 13University of Maine, United States
  • 14Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Brazil
  • 15Met Office, United Kingdom
  • 16State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics (SOED), China
  • 17Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, China
  • 18Marine Institute, Ireland
  • 19Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom
  • 20Dalhousie University, Canada
  • 21University of Bergen, Norway
  • 22Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  • 23Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada), Canada
  • 24Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan
  • 25UMR8212 Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), France
  • 26Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), Canada
  • 27Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), United States
  • 28The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 29Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 30Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA), United States
  • 31Korea Meteorological Administration, South Korea
  • 32Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France
  • 33GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
  • 34Mercator Ocean (France), France
  • 35Bangor University, United Kingdom
  • 36Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Norway
  • 37South African Weather Service, Marine Research Institute, Faculty of Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • 38Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan
  • 39Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, India
  • 40University of Washington, United States
  • 41OSU Ecce Terra, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
  • 42Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Netherlands
  • 43National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand
  • 44Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory (SOCCO), South Africa
  • 45Naval Hydrography Service, Argentina
  • 46Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Oceanographic Center of Vigo, Spain
  • 47Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • 48Xiamen University, China
  • 49University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 50National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), United States
  • 51School of Oceanography, University of Washington, United States
  • 52State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics (SOED), China
  • 53Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Japan

The Argo Program has been implemented and sustained for almost two decades, as a global array of about 4000 profiling floats. Argo provides continuous observations of ocean temperature and salinity versus pressure, from the sea surface to 2000 dbar. The successful installation of the Argo array and its innovative data management system arose opportunistically from the combination of great scientific need and technological innovation. Through the data system, Argo provides fundamental physical observations with broad societally-valuable applications, built on the cost-efficient and robust technologies of autonomous profiling floats. Following recent advances in platform and sensor technologies, even greater opportunity exists now than 20 years ago to (i) improve Argo’s global coverage and value beyond the original design, (ii) extend Argo to span the full ocean depth, (iii) add biogeochemical sensors for improved understanding of oceanic cycles of carbon, nutrients, and ecosystems, and (iv) consider experimental sensors that might be included in the future, for example to document the spatial and temporal patterns of ocean mixing. For Core Argo and each of these enhancements, the past, present, and future progression along a path from experimental deployments to regional pilot arrays to global implementation is described. The objective is to create a fully global, top-to-bottom, dynamically complete, and multidisciplinary Argo Program that will integrate seamlessly with satellite and with other in situ elements of the Global Ocean Observing System (Legler et al., 2015). The integrated system will deliver operational reanalysis and forecasting capability, and assessment of the state and variability of the climate system with respect to physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystems parameters. It will enable basic research of unprecedented breadth and magnitude, and a wealth of ocean-education and outreach opportunities.

Keywords: ARGO, Floats, global, ocean, warming, Circulation, temperature, Salinity

Received: 15 Nov 2018; Accepted: 05 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

AMOS T. KABO-BAH, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Reviewed by:

Maxime M. Grand, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, United States
Paul J. Durack, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (DOE), United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Roemmich, Alford, CLAUSTRE, Johnson, King, Moum, Oke, Owens, Pouliquen, Purkey, Scanderbeg, Suga, Wijffels, Zilberman, Bakker, Baringer, Belbeoch, Bittig, Boss, Calil, Carse, Carval, Chai, Conchubhair, D'Ortenzio, Dall'Olmo, Desbruyères, Fennel, Fer, Ferrari, Forget, Freeland, Fujiki, Gehlen, Greenan, Hallberg, Hibiya, Hosoda, Jayne, Jochum, Johnson, Kang, Kolodziejczyk, Koertzinger, Le Traon, Lenn, Maze, Mork, Morris, Nagai, Nash, Garabato, Olsen, Pattabhi, Prakash, Riser, Schmechtig, Shroyer, Sterl, Sutton, Talley, Tanhua, Thierry, Thomalla, Toole, Troisi, Trull, Turton, Velez-Belchi, Walczowski, Wang, Wanninkhof, Waterhouse, Watson, Wilson, Wong, Xu and Yasuda. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Dean Roemmich, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, 92037, California, United States,
Dr. Fei Chai, State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics (SOED), Hangzhou, 310012, Zhejiang Province, China,