Data & products on marine water quality


Q&A: What about Euro-ARGO ERIC and its interaction with EMODnet Chemistry?
20 September 2022

The European Research Infrastructure Consortium for Observing the Ocean (Euro- ARGO ERIC) is a consortium of 13 European countries with the aim of obtaining 25% of the global Argo network. This is an international programme that deploys 3,000 free-floating profiling floats over the world's oceans to measure temperature and salinity in the upper 2,000 metres of the ocean. The floats provide 100,000 T/S profiles and reference velocity measurements per year.

Why is EMODnet Chemistry closely associated with Argo?

Alessandra Giorgetti of OGS, Scientific Coordinator of EMODnet Chemistry, explains that:

"Argo is an important observing system for EMODnet, especially for Physics and Chemistry. These organisations work together to maintain and improve the value chain, from ocean observations to data harmonisation, quality control and open access to information for scientists and decision makers. In this respect, the planned improvement of Argo is essential for EMODnet Chemistry to generate data products that will contribute to a better understanding of marine ecosystem evolution and climate change impacts. For this reason, we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen our collaboration with EURO-ARGO ERIC.

Can you tell us more about the new phase of ARGO and MOU?

"ARGO intends to extend the spatio-temporal coverage of the observation to depths greater than 2000m, high latitudes and shallower areas, and to focus more on biogeochemical measurements. Signed in July 2022, MOU formalises ongoing dialogues and relationships between EMODnet and Euro-Argo ERIC. Co-signatories of the MoU include the coordinators of EMODnet Physics, EMODnet Chemistry and the EMODnet Secretariat. The EMODnet Chemistry Consortium has agreed to share and coordinate activities to maximise and facilitate the use and exchange of existing and new types of Argo data with corresponding metadata via EMODnet. This collaboration will enhance EMODnet Chemistry's biogeochemical products and strengthen our support for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and carbon monitoring."

One of the possible new target areas could be the depths of the Mediterranean Sea above 2000 m. Let us ask Elena Mauri, coordinator of Argo Italy, which areas could be important for further research.

E. Mauri states that:

“In the past, deep areas (above 2000 m) of the sea/oceans have been under-explored, considered areas with little variability over time. Today, such areas are considered extremely important to observe, to assess their stored heat content and their potential changes as a result of climate change. The increased stratification of the upper ocean, due to heat transfer from the warmer atmosphere, and the deepening of the mixed layer, caused by increased wind strength also due to the climate change, are important to study for implications on circulation and the marine ecosystem.
The Mediterranean Sea hosts the formation of intermediate and deep waters that transfer not only heat but also biogeochemical components to the depths. The development of a network of deep profilers with the addition of biogeochemical sensors will help knowledge of this component along the water column and understanding of the role these deep areas play in the carbon cycle”

From 11-13 October 2022, the 7th Argo Science Workshop 'OneArgo for a changing ocean' will take place in Brussels, Belgium, also available online.

Will EMODnet be attending the event?

A. Giorgetti replies that:

“EMODnet will actively participate in the workshop. OGS will give a presentation entitled 'Heat content and temperature trends in the Mediterranean Sea as derived by Argo float data (2005 - 2020)’.”

Many thanks to Alessandra and Elena for their willingness and we look forward to seeing you all at the Argo Science Workshop!