We are delighted to introduce the first annual report of the Euro-Argo ERIC. The setting up of the Euro-Argo ERIC in May 2014 was a major achievement for the development of a long term European contribution to the international Argo global array of profiling floats. Long-term global and high quality ocean observations are imperative to better characterize climate change, understand and predict the role of the ocean on climate, and also to make informed political decisions on how to attenuate and adapt to climate change. Argo has revolutionized global oceanography and has made in a few years only, outstanding contributions to ocean and climate change research and operational oceanography. Maintaining such a global ocean observing system on the longer run and making sure it can evolve to answer new scientific and operational needs are, however, major challenges that should not be minimized. We do expect that the Euro-Argo ERIC will be instrumental to address these challenges and will allow Europe to play a prominent role in the Argo international programme.
As can be seen in this report, Euro-Argo ERIC member states have been very active in 2014. Contributions to the global array are progressing and European partners continue to be major actors in the Argo data processing and dissemination system. They also are at the forefront of the development of the new phase of Argo with an extension to biogeochemical variables, the deep ocean and the polar seas. As far as users are concerned, the Euro-Argo research infrastructure has developed strong links with the European ocean and climate change research communities which are heavily relying on Argo observations. Euro-Argo is also a major in-situ infrastructure for the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet).
While there are many challenges over the coming years, we are highly confident that thanks to a strong support from participating Member States and from the European Commission, Euro-Argo ERIC teams are in an excellent position to further improve European contributions to Argo and strengthen European excellence in ocean and climate change research.
We hope you will enjoy reading this first Euro-Argo ERIC annual report.
Pierre-Yves Le Traon - Chair of the Euro-Argo ERIC Council
Jon Turton - Vice-Chair of the Euro-Argo ERIC Council