Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Argo Robotic Instrument Network Now Covers Most of the Globe

02.12.2004


International network reaches 1,500th float deployment-halfway to full array




Note: This news release is issued in conjunction with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-5) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO-6) international meetings held the week of Nov. 29, 2004.

Scientists have crossed an important threshold in an international effort to deploy a global network of robotic instruments to monitor and investigate important changes in the world’s oceans.


Researchers with the international Argo program announced they have reached the point where 1,500 ocean-traveling float instruments-half the target 3,000-float array- are now operating. This marks an important milestone in the program’s mission to capture valuable data around the globe.

The Argo floats, which are robotically programmed to record and transmit data, are uniquely positioned to provide important information about climate and weather phenomena. Other applications of Argo information include: ocean heat storage and climate change; ocean salinity changes due to rainfall; ocean-driven events such as El Niño; impacts of ocean temperature on fisheries and regional ecosystems; interactions between the ocean and monsoons; and how the oceans drive hurricanes and typhoons.

"With 1,500 floats in the water we are now looking at almost the whole planet," said Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s John Gould, Argo international project director. "It’s exciting to see so many countries involved in Argo and having them cooperate in monitoring the planet-oceanographers and climate scientists around the world now regard Argo as the key ocean element of an underwater global-observing system."

With the number of instruments crossing the midpoint, the information being beamed back from the floats is increasingly being used for science and weather research. Twelve ocean and climate/weather centers around the world use Argo data in regional analyses and forecasts.

Scientists such as Scripps’s Dean Roemmich, chairman of the steering team for Argo, are using the data for new insights into ocean processes, information not available only a few years ago.

For example, a recent joint effort between Scripps Institution and a group from New Zealand has vastly increased the number of floats deployed in the south Pacific Ocean. The new data has allowed Roemmich to make new observations about the area’s ocean circulation and how currents have become stronger since last measured by ship-based techniques in the 1990s.

Other scientists are finding new ways to use the data.

"We will be able to get information about short-lived events, such as hurricanes," said Gould. "When a hurricane is building up and it goes across an area, if there is a float underneath it you can actually see how much energy the hurricane has sucked out of the upper ocean."

The full Argo array of 3,000 floats is expected to be deployed by 2007. Argo floats are autonomous ocean-traveling robots programmed to sink more than a mile below the ocean surface (see animation) and drift for as long as four years. Every 10 days the instruments surface to record temperature, salinity and currents and to relay the information to satellites. Within hours the information is transmitted to the Global Telecommunications System and is freely available on the Internet. The floats then sink again to begin a new cycle.

The developments leading to Argo’s ability to operate globally were made in the early 1990s by Scripps scientist Russ Davis. Twenty-five percent of the floats in the Argo array are built at Scripps. Each float is designed for a four-year lifespan, or approximately 150 cycles. Some have lasted longer.

"If anyone is concerned about what the climate will be like over a five- or 10-year period, they will have to look to the oceans to find answers to their questions," said Gould. "Argo is becoming one of the key tools for monitoring what is going on in the oceans. So if there are any surprises, then we will get prior warning about them from Argo."

Eighteen countries contribute floats to the array and many others provide assistance with float deployment and access to their nation’s waters.

Scripps Institution, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory are United States float operating partners in Argo. NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) handles U.S. float data. The United States also operates one of Argo’s two global data centers. U.S. Argo is funded by NOAA.

Argo is sponsored by the World Climate Research Program’s Climate Variability and Predictability project (CLIVAR) and by the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE). It is a pilot project of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).

Mario Aguilera | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/article_detail.cfm?article_num=659
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
11.01.2018 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

nachricht Environmental history told by sludge: Global warming lets the dead zones in the Black Sea grow
10.01.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

16.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials

16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>