The overall objectives of the Euro-Argo ERIC in "Monitoring the Oceans" are:
- to provide, deploy and operate an array of around 800 floats contributing to the global array (a European contribution of 1⁄4 of the global array), which means deploy about 250 floats per year
- to provide enhanced coverage in the European regional seas
- to provide quality controlled data and access to the data sets and data products to the research (climate and oceanography) and operational oceanography (e.g. Copernicus Marine Service) communities
- to prepare the next phase of Argo with an extension to biogeochemical variables, to the deep Ocean and the polar regions.
Even though the number of floats deployed per European Countries increased in past 15 years, the European Contribution to Argo, based on national funds only, has reached a plateau.
Since its start, Euro-Argo has worked closely with the European Commission (DG-MARE (EMODNET), DG-Research and DG-Growth (Copernicus)) to develop a long-term contribution to Argo. DG-MARE through the EASME* contacted the Euro-Argo ERIC to submit an application for a grant for the implementation of the action 188.8.131.52 "Monitoring the Oceans" of the EMFF Work Programme 2015. The proposal was submitted on 10th April, revised according on 6th May and signed Mid-June to start end of June 2015.
The goal of the MOCCA project is to progress towards the Euro-Argo objectives in "Monitoring the Oceans" and the European effort under the international Argo programme through procuring and deploying 150 Argo floats, as well as the data collection, analysis, management, processing and dissemination in the years up to 2020 over the operating lifetime of the floats.
These data will be made freely available as a European contribution to the international Argo programme. The Euro-Argo ERIC will organize interfaces with operational users and, in particular, with the Copernicus Marine Service and with the Ocean and climate change research communities. This will ensure that this action will contribute to an improved monitoring, understanding and prediction of the Oceans and climate change , as well as improved Ocean services for the development of the blue economy in Europe.
IMPACT AND BENEFITS
This action shall provide additional coverage in the European regional seas and help to further develop the Euro-Argo ERIC infrastructure. It will demonstrate that Europe can significantly improve its contribution to the international Argo programme (number of floats to be procured and deployed per year, float data processing and quality control, data dissemination). The Euro-Argo ERIC is a long term endeavour and will be in a position to sustain the European contribution to the Argo international programme at the end of this action.
The MOCCA project started at the end of June 2015 and will end in June 2020 (60 months). It is structured along 4 Workpackages :
- WP1 covers the management of the project
- WP2 covers float procurement activities
- WP3 covers float deployment activities
- WP4 covers float data processing
The Euro-Argo ERIC organizes the splitting of activities between the ERIC and its members. The ERIC itself procures all of the floats as part of the EASME grant. The co-funding (20%) for floats has been organized through the transfer of funds from several ERIC members/observers towards the ERIC. The ERIC with a support from its members organizes the deployment of floats and at sea monitoring. IFREMER, NERC- BODC, OGS, BSH and MET-OFFICE (based on agreed responsibilities as described in the scientific and technical annex of the Euro-Argo ERIC) are in charge of the data processing of floats and are identified as partners in the MOCCA project. Finally the Euro-Argo ERIC with the Management Board analyse the float procurement, deployment, monitoring at sea, processing and dissemination and will provide recommendations for managing the European contribution to the Argo international programme.
* The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) has been set-up by the European Commission to manage on its behalf several EU programmes. See more : https://ec.europa.eu/easme/