1000th Argo float

May 21st, 2021

CSIRO is celebrating last week’s deployment of the 1000th Argo float.

These robotic floats measure temperature and salinity in the water column down to 2000 m depth. Argo floats are the only means to collect the subsurface observations needed to provide year-round, near real-time information on ocean conditions, with global coverage. Thousands of Argo floats operate worldwide, with many countries participating in the Argo program.

Peter Oke, who leads Australia’s Argo program, says:

“Congratulations to all involved. This is a tremendous example of what a committed partnership can achieve. Together, CSIRO, IMOS, BoM, AAPP (and the ACE CRC before that), and the DoD have managed to accomplish what no single agency could have possibly done. Argo is a really wonderful program – delivering data in real-time to underpin operational forecasts, and delivering carefully quality-controlled data to scientific users to inform research in areas ranging from ocean dynamics and process studies, to climate variability and change. I’m proud of what Argo Australia has contributed to this exciting international effort.”

Argo observations have a big impact on ocean science. They play a key part of the Bluelink ReANalysis, our high-fidelity 3D record of the ocean, and they also feed directly into Australia’s operational ocean forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) Argo Australia Facility is operated by CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere in close partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Antarctic Partnership Program (formerly the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre), and the Australian Government Department of Environment and Department of Defence.  CSIRO manages Argo float deployment and then the subsequent operation together with the real-time and delayed-mode processing. Argo floats can operate for over a decade.  All the data are provided to the international community in real-time for operational applications and in delayed mode to build a high quality global data set for research.

For more information, see CSIRO’s Argo monitoring, IMOS’ Argo Floats  or the Argo global program.


Maurice Huguenin, MNF

Messages of goodwill written on the 1000th Argo float before its deployment. Credit: Maurice Huguenin