The contribution of Europe to the Argo international network has been pursued within SIDERI WP2 and a consolidated vision on the enhancement of Argo for the future decade was given during 2012. Since the beginning of the project, Euro-Argo activities have been presented both at the Argo Steering Team (AST) and Argo Data Management Team (ADMT) meetings. A dedicated workshop to prepare for Bio-Argo data processing was organized alongside the ADMT meeting. A draft position paper on possible technical advances for the Argo core mission was prepared including costs, legal issues and scientific community requirements. This paper will become the roadmap for evolution of Argo in Europe. Improvement of data integration and quality control in Argo Regional centers has started for the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea. The topics addressed concern enhancement of delayed-mode quality control procedures, consistency check of their implementation, real-time and delayed-mode trajectory procedures and a near surface real-time control quality control activities.. A draft report has been prepared to highlight how the Argo data system should link to the WIS (the World Meteorological Organization (WMO Information System) by which most operational meteorological operational services access in situ observations. This report is also addressing the necessary upgrades to the binary format (BUFR) that will be needed (e.g. to include bio-geochemical variables) to distribute data on the WIS.
Integration and extension of Euro-Argo activities to the European neighbourhood started in the frame of WP3. Three areas are focused: around the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and in the broader north-east Atlantic. In the Mediterranean Sea a few seminars were performed in Croatia, Malta, and Cyprus. Interactions with oceanographers in Romania and Ukraine have started. Contacts have been made with Algeria, Lebanon and Tunisia to organize training courses and float deployments. Around the Black Sea, lectures were carried out in Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey. In the broad north-east Atlantic a training session is planned in Iceland in 2013 as this country is interested to adopt a float. The Marine Institute (Ireland) donated an Arvor float to Portugal and set up a web conference training session with them. Currently contact with Morocco has been unsuccessful.
The deployment by Euro-Argo of some 250 floats per year over the world ocean is targeted. The implementation of the global and regional deployment strategy for this requires a high level organization on ships plans. Within WP4 and in close collaboration with POGO and Eurofleets teams, additional requirements and specific needs for Argo float deployments planning related to access to cruise programme database were identified, both for global and regional operations but with not much feedback from POGO and Eurofleets.
WP5 aims at reviewing the Law of the Sea issues relevant to Argo. All countries involved in SIDERI have provided contact points and material on their own countries legislation, not restricted to Argo but on other existing autonomous platforms (activity carried out jointly with the GROOM FP7 project). A position paper is under preparation which will summarize national legislation with regard to the granting of permission to undertake marine scientific research in partner’s national (and neighbouring) waters and on topics related to environmental requirements that seek to regulate the impact of marine scientific research on their marine environment.
The 4th Argo Science Workshop was jointly organized by Ifremer and OGS with a special session on marginal seas, in the frame of WP6, together with the 20 year altimetry symposium in Venice in September 2012. The final round table objective was to discuss and exchange with the workshop participants the envisioned evolution of Argo for the next decade. The next workshop planned is the User’s Meeting (task 6.3) which will be held in June 2013 in Southampton combined with the North Atlantic/sub-polar meeting from task 6.2. An educational website is regularly updated (http://www.euroargo-edu.eu) presenting float’s stories. An outreach project dedicated to the wider public and in particular to scholars was implemented “Mon ocean et moi” in close collaboration between scientists and teachers with more information dedicated to biogeochemical observations.