Who are the “Argo floats” and why we need them?
“The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change”, said Greta Thunberg, in her passionate call for action against climate change. More than 200 countries joined the #FridaysForFuture protests, initiated by this young environmental activist in 2018. In this frantic race to find a solution about global warming*, the Earth could always count on a major natural ally: the ocean. As a matter of fact, the ocean is capable of absorbing a certain amount of CO2* – the gas produced by human activities such as driving cars – which is the main responsible for the increase in the temperature of our planet's atmosphere*. Without the ocean, there would be so much CO2 in our atmosphere that our planet would be unbearable.
Scientists understood this key role of the Ocean for many years. But until the 2000’s, they only could rely on sparse measurements from ships or satellite observations of the Ocean surface to better understand it. But the Ocean is animated by currents that stir the salt water from the surface to the depths. To reveal the secrets of this deep Ocean, scientists hired an army of more than 3000 robots to infiltrate the ocean and bring back secret information, such as the temperature, pressure and salinity of waters.
© Lauren O'Dell
© Olivier Dugornay/Ifremer
On the left, you can see one of these 3000 robots, being deployed by scientists in the Atlantic Ocean from a research vessel.
On the right, here is an Argo float that has begun its mission, diving into the ocean.