Summary of year 1 activities

The project started on January 1st 2013.  The kick off meeting was organized in Brest from January 16 to January 17.  A steering committee was organized in June in Southampton.  A specific WP3 workshop was also organized in September in Toulouse.  Work has been performed according to plans and all planned deliverables for 2013 were issued.  There is a time shift for float deployment for several tasks of WP2 (see below).  This does not impact the DOW and deliverables but only the timing of milestones.  This decision was taken by the steering committee in June to minimize risks.Management, scientific coordination and communication activities (WP1, 7 & 8) included preparation and running of the kick-off and 1st steering committee meetings, writing meeting minutes, annual report preparation, interaction with REA, interaction with the Euro-Argo ERIC organization, interaction with MyOcean project, discussing with stakeholders (GMES/Copernicus bureau, EEA, DG Research, EuroGOOS) and development and maintenance of the E-AIMS WWW site (internal and external).   Communication activities will develop when first results from floats are available.  

The objective of WP2 is to test several new Argo floats which have been recently developed and are becoming available from float manufacturers in Europe.  E-AIMS WP2 will organize an end-to-end test of these new floats: specifying float characteristics, carrying out complementary float design or sensor adaptation activities, ordering and testing them before deployment, agreeing on at sea testing procedure, deploying them, and quality control and data analysis.  The main objectives for 2013 were to specify float characteristics, interact with float manufacturers and design the float experiments at sea.  These objectives have been met.   

The different floats were ordered to the manufacturer, except one deep float and one Arctic float, and few instruments were deployed. One Navis float fitted with oxygen sensors (T2.1) was successfully deployed by Geomar in the region off Northwest Africa in October, four biochemical Provor floats (T2.3) were deployed (2 floats in the North Atlantic gyre by UKMO/PML in October, 2 floats in the Black Sea by IO-BAS/USOF in December), and 2 SeaBird Navis floats fitted with Iridium transmission (T2.4) were also deployed in the tropical North Atlantic by UKMO/PML in October. First results are already available such as the comparison of oxygen sensors (see figure 1).  The other deployments have been shifted to 2014.  This is due to a delay in the availability of floats from the manufacturers, the need to perform additional testing of floats and the requirement to identify research cruises which will allow the acquisition of high quality data sets to calibrate/validation Argo observations.  All floats will be deployed within the next 6 months or so and data will be ready for the WP6 demonstration phase that starts at T0+18 months.  There is thus no significant impact on the project objectives.

Figure 1 : Illustration of the time response effect on data from the pumped SBE-63 vs. the unpumped 4330 optode with two surface profiles of float F0272.

WP3 & WP4 have described initial requirements for ocean analysis and forecasting, seasonal/decadal forecasting and satellite validation. Past OSE/OSSEs and impact studies have been summarized and design of OSE/OSSEs or impact study work to be carried out in E-AIMS have been described and agreed.  The main outcome of this work is  to recommend that Argo should be at least be maintained (coverage and sampling) on the longer run (first priority). As reanalysis activity is as important as real-time prediction, reprocessing of past data with improved quality has also to be conducted in addition to the delivery of products in real-time. Finally, the need for an improved vertical sampling has been identified for both regional prediction systems (the Mediterranean) and coupled ones (near surface sampling has to be improved to better reproduce interactions with the atmosphere).  All groups also foresee a very positive impact of extending Argo capabilities towards deeper observations (below 2000 meters) and towards the observation of biogeochemical variables.   This will be analyzed further as part of WP3 tasks.

As far as the OSE/OSSEs work is concerned, a workshop was organized in Toulouse in September 2013 to organize activities and to agree on strategies and experiments to be conducted.  Synthesis of past OSE/OSSEs activities and OSE/OSSEs plans for E-AIMS have been detailed.  OSE/OSSEs activities have now started and will continue in the year 2014 (see figure 2).  The WP3 (and WP4) final workshop will be organized in November 2014 jointly with GODAE OceanView and GSOP/CLIVAR in Toulouse.

Figure 2:  Time evolution of the number of temperature data assimilated in the Mercator Ocean global data assimilation system and the global RMS error for the temperature innovations (observation minus model forecast) in the global ¼° ocean reanalysis.  The availability of Argo observations from 2003 has a dramatic impact on the reduction of forecast (and analysis) errors.

E-AIMS OSE/OSSE plans have also been discussed with the Euro-Argo ERIC management board which is developing together with Argo international a roadmap for the long-term evolution of the Euro-Argo research infrastructure (one of the deliverables of the Euro-Argo FP7 SIDERI project).  The objectives are to agree on the development of the new phase of Argo and Euro-Argo for the next decade with an extension towards the deep ocean, biogeochemical measurements and polar seas.  This also includes an evolution of Argo sampling.  Figure below shows, for example, a proposal discussed at international level for the extension of Argo sampling for its new phase with an improved sampling of western boundary currents, tropical regions and marginal seas.  Some of these extensions will be evaluated as part of E-AIMS OSSEs activities. 

Figure 3: proposed evolution of core Argo sampling for the next decade (Jcommops and Argo international). This is another component of the new phase of Argo in addition to deep Argo and Bio-Argo.

The objective of WP5 was to undertake the R&D activities necessary to improve the Euro-Argo data system to better serve the Copernicus Marine Service and adapt it to the future generation of Argo profiling floats (biogeochemical, deep, high vertical sampling).  Quality control methods for oxygen and biogeochemical parameters have been described and are now integrated in the operational Argo data processing centers (see as an illustration figure 4).  The Argo data processing centers are also being adapted so that they will be able to process data from the new floats.  WP5 is running as expected and tasks will be completed as planned in mid-2014.  It will be thus possible to ingest E-AIMS floats in the operational Argo data system by this time.

Figures :  4a)Oxygen data (DOXY) in the Argo database. The QC are not taken into account. 4b) Oxygen data (DOXY) in the Argo database. The QC are taken into account and only “good” data (QC=1) are plotted.