The specific benefits from building a European infrastructure for Argo will include two major points :
1. Benefit for Argo in Europe
- Stronger European coordination of float deployments will ensure that certain areas are not overpopulated at the expense of other regions or the global array. This is critical to Argo and important for the credibility of Europe.
- Euro-Argo will deliver a stronger and more coherent European contribution to float technology development, with particular emphasis on European needs (e.g. sampling under ice, bio-geochemical sensors) leading to improved capability, performance and lifetime.
- Strengthening the two European Argo data processing centres (Coriolis and BODC) to (i) ensure they are able to process all European floats and deliver the data to users, and (ii) ensure that Europe is able to fulfil its data processing commitments to the global programme (Coriolis GDAC, North Atlantic and Southern Ocean Regional Centres).
- Provision of a consolidated European funding contribution to the international Argo Information Centre (AIC) and Argo Programme Office, which will help ensure the continued operation of these bodies that are critical to the international programme.
- Euro-Argo will provide a mechanism for developing consistent inputs and a more concerted European voice into the international Argo programme, resulting in a stronger European influence on how Argo develops in the future.
- It will also provide the means to sustain important outreach activities (web-site, brochures, educational materials etc.) needed to explain to schoolchildren and the general public the importance of observations from the oceans towards dealing with climate change and other environmental issues.
2. Benefit for being a member
- Greater efficiency in float procurement – as the smaller countries will be able to rely on Euro-Argo for specifying their floats, procuring their floats and potentially benefit from price reductions associated with larger orders.
- Euro-Argo will provide a central capability for float testing and preparation (e.g.mission programming, installation of lithium batteries) and storage which will mean that new participants do not need to invest in technical staff, workshop or storage facilities.
- Through Euro-Argo it will be possible to sustain and build upon the European Argo Users’ Group established during the Preparatory Phase, in order to ensure that users’ needs are articulated and that the best scientific and technical advice continues to feed into Euro-Argo.
Without a strong European infrastructure for Argo (Euro-Argo) it will not be possible to fully realize the above benefits.