The international Argo programme was launched in 1999 as a pilot project endorsed by the World Meteorological Organization, GOOS, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. The Argo network is a global array of more than 3500 autonomous floats, deployed throughout the ocean, reporting subsurface ocean properties such as temperature and salinity to a wide range of users via satellite transmission links to data centres.

In 2001, the Argo programme succeeded in setting up the first-ever global in-situ ocean observing network, thanks to an international effort by a group of organisations in more than 25 countries. The Euro-Argo European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) was established in 2014 as part of this global ecosystem and is now one of the key data infrastructures contributing to the Blue-Cloud framework.

In order to gain a better understanding of Euro-Argo's role in Blue-Cloud, we have interviewed Thierry Carval, Data Manager at IFREMER, who offered a comprehensive overview of its main qualities and the mutual benefits Euro-Argo and Blue-Cloud are bringing each other.

Euro-Argo ERIC supports research and development on the instruments and sensors for in-situ ocean observing, as well as the deployment of the floats in European seas.

Then there is work on data management. Our goal is to collect, decode, quality-control, and distribute data to the Argo community and to the scientific community.

Argo floats collect data for several years, sampling sections of the ocean in a range from 2000 meters of depth to the surface. These in-situ measurements are then received in real time continously via the Euro-Argo IT infrastructure, providing data for 24/7 processing for the benefit of end users. It is one of the main data infrastructures employed by the Blue-Cloud consortium, in particular in the context of the Marine Environmental Indicators demonstrator.

Argo made a revolution in terms of observing the ocean. For the past 20 years, Argo floats have been deployed and are continuously measuring in-situ data in the ocean, making them freely available in real-time and in then in delayed mode. [...] The latter is high-quality data available to scientists, crucial for understanding in detail the behaviour and changes in the ocean.

Discover the Marine Environmental Indicators demonstrator

In case you missed them, check out the other Blue-Cloud interviews