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Argos system contributes to Argo program milestone

Jan 24, 2019

Last month, the international Argo program reached a very important milestone: Over 2 million ocean profiles have been collected by Argo since 1999, greatly improving the understanding of the world’s oceans. The Argos satellite telemetry system has contributed to this success, by relaying 70% (1.5 million) of these precious ocean profiles over the past 20 years.

70% of 2 million Argo profiles relayed by Argos

The oceans play a central role in the earth’s climate. Yet continuous observations of the ocean are difficult to obtain, especially below the sea surface. The Argo program is a network of 4,000 autonomous profiling floats that are programmed to gather temperature, pressure and salinity measurements of the ocean as they dive down to 2,000 meters below the sea surface, sampling as they go. When they return to the surface, they relay data via satellite. The first floats were launched in 1999 and full global coverage was achieved in 2007, with an array of 3,000 floats evenly distributed over the world’s oceans. Designed to complement other measurements, the Argo program provides the crucial, uniform in time and space, in situ observation profiles of the ocean.

The milestone of 2 million profiles collected coincides with the 20 year anniversary of the Argo program.

Congratulations to the entire Argo community for your important contribution to ocean and climate monitoring !

For more information:

The status of the Argo array, as of December 2018, courtesy of JCOMMOPS.

Contact the Argos team