Strengthening International Dimension of Euro-Argo Research Infrastructure

Objective :

The objective of this new project is to strengthen the links and integration of the Euro-Argo European research infrastructure into the Argo international strategy of global ocean observations, and to seek participation by, and to develop cooperation with, potential participants in the European neighbouring areas which have a maritime interest.

Impacts and benefits :

The science of climate dynamics and climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our century. Understanding and predicting changes in both the atmosphere and the ocean are nedded to guide international actions and to optimise governments' policies.

  • The oceans have a fundamental influence on our climate and weather : they store, transport and exchange with the atmosphere large amounts of heat, water and gases. These exchanges dramatically affect world and regional climates on time scales ranging from days (hurricanes, storms) to seasons (monsoons), to years (El Nino) and centuries (climate change). Over the past 50 years, the oceans have thus absorbed more than 80% of the Earth warming due to anthropogenic increas of greenhouse gas concentration.
  • The ocean and ocean life also control the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and dominate the earth's carbon cycle.

Long term, global and high quality ocean observations are thus needed to understand the role of the ocean on the earth's climate and to predict the evolution of our weather and climate.

The Argo International ocean observing programme is unique in the history of oceanography. The establishment of ERIC is a major advance in the international context. Euro-Argo has included in its objectives enhanced observations in the European regional seas, to support research and environmental monitoring. The outreach activities, workshops and conferences included in SIDERI project are intended to increase the participation of scientists in and around Europe in the use of Argo data.

Finally, one must not forget that the Argo array is not a stand-alone system ; it is integrated into other components of the Global Ocean Observing System, most notably the earth observing satellites. Operational Centres, such as the Meteorological services and the GMES Marine Core Service, combine all the available observations to produce numerical analysis and forecasting of ocean conditions.

SIDERI will contribute, within its scope, to integrate the Euro-Argo system into the overall global observing system.

Activities :

The following activities are planned :

  • work on the evolution of the Argo core mission together with international partners (O2, biogeochemical sensors, deep floats, extension to polar and marginal seas)
  • work on the evolution of the Argo Data Centers (DMQC of the North-Atlantic ARC and Southern Ocean ARC) and role of the European components
  • refine the float deployment strategy in Europe and international seas, and links with international partners
  • making the interfaces with JCOMMOPS and Argo Information Center (AIC)
  • working on legal aspects and policy issues (law of the sea)
  • organize scientific and thematic (regional) workshops open to international partners.

This project will be carried out by the Euro-Argo PP partners that form the future partners of the Euro-Argo ERIC.

Organization :

The work plan is structured along 6 work-packages (WP) and 17 tasks :

- The first workpackage concerns the management of the project.

- The other workpackages aim to co-ordinate and develop the euro-Argo Research Infrastructure activities in the international context ; to developand extend them towards the European neighbourhood areas ; to more effectively coordinate the use of resources for the operations at sea ; to review the complex legal issues (the Law of the Sea) that might be a stumbling block in the implementation of the system in the enclosed seas around Europe.

- The 6th work package will contribute to reach out and coordinating activities in specific regional seas, from a scientific point of view with the purpose to raise awareness and initiate collaborations with more participants.