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How the Argo data are used



Cargo ship Cargo ship

Argo data is used in may different ways, by Met Offices, ocean forecasters, and research scientists all over the world.

Operational users collect the data from the Argo Data Centre in near realtime and use it forocean forecasts or seasonal weather forecasts. Argo data for these users go through an automated quality check.

Ocean forecasts allow ferry operators, shipping lines, off-shore industries, fishermen, and many others to plan their operations. Seasonal weather forecasts are becoming more reliable, particularly in the tropics, and allow farmers to plan their crops.

Plots of buoyancy frequency for 3 Argo floats

For scientific use there is usually no such rush, but quality control is much more important, particularly where Argo data is used in climate change research. Delayed mode Argo data therefore goes through an addition, more careful quality check, which involves scientists checking the profiles before the data is used to create climatologies or investigate climate change and variability.

The figure (left) shows an example of how Argo data has been used to look at deep the cooling and sinking of surface water in the Nordic seas in 2006-8. This sinking is an important part of the vertical ocean circulation; reduced sinking is likely to slow down the circulation and reduce the heat that is transported from the subtropics to high latitudes in the Atlantic.

Link to the main Euro-Argo project website.