The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK, held a public Open Day on Saturday 8 June 2019. 1900 visitors of all ages took part, and many of them visited the Argo exhibit, which included a float, poster display, and a movie showing the development of the Argo array from 2000 to the present.
The most common response was ‘wow, that’s a lot of floats, they’re everywhere’. Youngsters enjoyed watching the movie and spotting how many floats were active on the day they were born. Visitors were impressed to see how the uncertainty in the growth of global heat content, shown in figures from the IPCC, has reduced since Argo began. Many asked why, when the evidence of global warming is so clear, do some people still seem to dispute it ? The poster display described the extensions of Argo into Deep and BioGeoChemical measurements. There were also questions about the environmental impact of floats when the batteries are exhausted, and why we don’t plan to recover them. Visitors were able to understand that the environmental impact of recovery, through the amount of fuel burned to get a ship to the recovery point, was greater than the impact of leaving the floats where they are.