E-AIMS: Euro-Argo Improvements for the GMES Marine Service


The overall objective of the project was to improve the European contribution to the international Argo observing system and to prepare the next scientific and operational challenges for in-situ monitoring of the world ocean. The main objective was to prepare the evolutions of Argo floats for the next decade: improved reliability and life time, telecommunication capabilities, biogeochemical observations, deeper measurements, under ice operations in the polar seas, sampling of marginal seas. All these evolutions are essential to improve our knowledge on the role of ocean on climate and for operational oceanography.

The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS)

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 needed to guide international actions and to optimize governments' policies. In-situ observations are indispensable to implement a comprehensive Global Observing system by combining space-based systems measuring surface properties with float technology giving access to property changes of the ocean interior. In-situ and satellite data are now routinely assimilated in ocean models to elaborate ocean products. At European level, GMES Marine Service (MyOcean and MyOcean2) provides in real time or in delayed mode (re-analyses) integrated description and short-term forecast of the ocean state to serve a wide range of applications:

  • marine environment monitoring
  • weather forecasting
  • maritime safety and pollution forecasting
  • national security
  • the oil & gas industry
  • fisheries management and coastal and shelf-sea forecasting
  • ocean, climate, and ecosystem research

Argo is now the single most important in-situ observing system for operational oceanography and the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS). The implementation of Argo results from an outstanding international cooperation, with more than 30 countries involved in the development and maintenance of the array. To strengthen, consolidate and integrate their efforts and contributions to the Argo programme, several European countries are collaborating and have agreed to join in the establishment of a new European legal entity: the Euro-Argo ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). The main challenges for Argo and Euro-Argo are:

  • to maintain the global array and ensure its long term sustainability
  • to prepare the next phase of Argo with an extension towards biogeochemistry, the polar oceans, the marginal seas and the deep ocean.

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