Argo is an international venture that aims to deploy 3000 profiling Alace floats scattered around the world. Details are still being discussed, but the target depth for these floats might be 2000 metres and they will likely rise to the sea surface every 10 days. Thus, every 10 days we should acquire:
This project should be viewed as collaborative with two other projects, Jason and Godae. Jason is the follow-on mission to Topex-Poseidon and should supply sea-surface elevation globally. Thus, the combination of Jason plus Argo supplies maps every 10 days of the internal dynamics of the ocean, globally. The project GODAE is the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment and the intention is to develop computer models that will assimilate the complete Argo and Jason data sets and allow a test of our ability to forecast ocean climate. The objectives of Argo are:
Obtain an unprecedented dataset for model initialization, data assimilation and dynamical consistency testing of the next generation of global ocean and coupled models.
Enable realistic operational real-time global ocean forecasting for the first time.
Produce an accurate global climatology, with error bars and statistics of variability and valid for the specific period of the array, of monthly mean temperature and salinity as a function of depth.
Produce accurate time-series of heat and freshwater storage (globally) and of the temperature/salinity structure and volume of the world's intermediate and thermocline water masses.
Provide large-scale constraints for atmospheric model-derived surface heat and freshwater fluxes.
Complete the global description of the mean and variability of large-scale ocean circulation, including interior ocean mass, heat and freshwater transport - the equivalent for large-scale ocean circulation of a real-time synoptic upper ocean WOCE.
Determine the dominant patterns and evolution of interannual variability in temperature and salinity, e.g. for analysis of coupled modes of air/sea interaction. Discover other ENSO-like phenomena in the global oceans and their impact on improvement of seasonal-to-interannual atmospheric forecasts.
Directly interpret sea surface height anomalies - for example due to global sea level change, El Nino, etc. - by separating them into contributions due to the effects of (i) E-P, (ii) differential heating and cooling, (iii) advection of heat and freshwater, and (iv) wind-driven redistribution of mass.