Argo Reaches Major Milestone: 1 Million Ocean Profiles

December, 2012

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is pleased to join the international scientific community in celebrating Argo’s 1 millionth data profile of the world’s oceans.

Argo is the largest ocean observation system in the world. It is a global array of over 3,500 free-drifting profiling floats, which measures the oceans’ temperature and salinity. Thirty-one countries currently contribute to the project, which for 13 years, has been providing valuable information on changes to the Earth’s climate and hydrological cycle.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proud to be a strong contributor to the Argo project.  Since 2001, the department has launched 340 Argo floats, 100 of which are still operating.

Active Floats (Courtesy of JCOMMOPS/Argo Information Centre)
Active Floats, September 2012
(Courtesy of JCOMMOPS/Argo Information Centre)

The international Argo program uses a global array of robotic floats — marked by coloured dots on the map above — to gather data on temperature, salinity and pressure (a measure of depth) from the world’s oceans. In September 2012, the Argo array had 3,573 active floats, of which 100 were deployed by Argo Canada. Canada’s floats are marked by red dots.

Argo data is publicly available for free and is used for a variety of purposes such as assessing climate changes, improving weather forecasts and developing ocean models. Among many other purposes, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been using Argo data to monitor year-to-year temperature changes in the Labrador Sea. In addition, Argo data feeds into ocean circulation models, which serve the Coast Guard in search and rescue efforts and potential oil spill responses.

Science remains essential to our business. Through our participation in the international Argo program, we are enhancing the world’s knowledge of our oceans and how they impact the Earth’s climate.

Argo Float Launch
Canada’s first Argo float launch, July 2001
(Courtesy of Howard Freeland, Fisheries and Ocean’s Canada)

See:
Argo Feature Story: A Milestone for Ocean Observation: International Argo Program Reaches One-Millionth Profile

More Information:

Argo Canada Webpage
Argo Canada Poster [PDF 4.8 Mb]
Video: Argo - Observing the Oceans in Real Time