Argo float data are assimilated into the FOAM model at the Met Office and provide a significant positive impact. Experiments have shown that the addition of these data reduce error by almost 30%, enabling more accurate forecasts.
Data supply chain
- On surfacing, a float transmits the data collected via satellites to a receiving station.
- Data are downloaded, quality controlled, encoded and delivered on a daily basis to the Global Telecommunications System (GTS), thus enabling them to be included in various meteorological and oceanographic models.
- Data are assimilated in to the Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM) at the Met Office.
- FOAM ¼° Antarctic model output images of potential temperature, salinity and velocity are supplied by the Met Office to BODC at monthly intervals.
- An animation of the FOAM ¼° Antarctic model output images is presented.
Argo, a worldwide programme involving over 30 countries, was established in 2000 to provide regular measurements from previously data-sparse areas throughout ice-free deep-ocean areas to improve our understanding of ocean systems. A global network of over 3000 active profiling floats was achieved in November 2007.
These specialised floats are able to descend and ascend through the water column by changing their buoyancy. As the float rises to the sea surface, it collects temperature, salinity and pressure measurements. The data are vital for monitoring ocean temperature - a key factor in climate change.
BODC act as the data centre for UK floats in the Argo programme, regardless of their location. We also act as the Regional Centre for the Southern Ocean in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia.