Overview

The international Argo program, a global array of autonomous profiling floats monitoring seawater properties, provides freely available near real-time data for ocean weather and climate services and high-quality data for ocean and climate research. Following the success of its core mission (Core-Argo) initiated in 1998 and dedicated to monitoring temperature and salinity in the 0-2000 m layer, the program is now entering a new phase to address urgent scientific and societal challenges triggered by global change. Argo aims to be global, full-depth, and multidisciplinary: the Deep-Argo mission now extends physical measurements down to 6000 m depth for the monitoring of abyssal layers, while the BGC-Argo mission acquires six additional biogeochemical parameters for increased biogeochemical and ecosystem observations

France has been playing an important role in Argo since its launch and is leading the Euro‐Argo European research infrastructure (ERIC) that organizes and federates the European contribution to Argo. Euro-Argo and its French component (Argo-France) are part of the French Ministry of Research’s roadmap on large research infrastructures (TGIR). Argo-France’s objective for the next decade is to deploy around 80 Argo floats/year: 30 Core-Argo floats, 20 Core-Argo floats with oxygen sensors, 15 Deep-Argo floats with oxygen sensors and 15 BGC-Argo floats.

Argo-2030 proposes to acquire 15 BGC-Argo floats to consolidate France's contribution to BGC-Argo and enable the country to fulfil its international commitment. Argo-2030 also proposes to prepare Argo’s next phase by testing and validating a second generation of BGC and Deep-Argo floats that will dramatically increase the network’s scientific potential. For the latter objective, Argo-2030 aims to acquire 14 BGC-ECO-Argo floats and 22 Deep-6000 floats. The BGC-ECO-Argo floats are BGC-Argo floats equipped with ecological sensors to observe marine ecosystems. They will provide observations ranging from physical dynamics to high trophic levels (i.e. zooplankton and small fishes), thereby extending Argo's scope to marine ecological research. The Deep-6000 floats will reinforce the Argo array by sampling abyssal layers, and by providing deep biogeochemistry observations thanks to oxygen sensors with which they will be systematically equipped. These innovative Argo-2030 floats will revolutionize ocean sciences by palliating, and eventually resolving, the current chronic undersampling of marine ecosystems and abyssal layers. Argo-2030 will be completely integrated into Argo-France. It will maintain France as the European leader and key international actor of the Argo program.

The Argo-2030 consortium is composed of four French units with strong scientific expertise and leadership in physical circulation, biogeochemical cycles and marine-ecosystem dynamics, as well as long-term experience in Argo science, data processing and technology. Argo-2030 consortium members are involved in European and international Argo governance bodies. They have been collaborating for 10 years in the framework of the Equipex NAOS (Novel Argo Observing System) project (2010-2020) of which Argo-2030 is the natural continuation. The four units are affiliated to institutional partners supporting Argo-France and in charge of its governance.

Argo-2030 data will be freely shared on public databases and valorized through peer-reviewed and high-impact publications. They will be also valorized by a wide range of users through its integration in data-assimilation systems.

Argo-2030 will contribute to a better understanding and prediction of climate change as well as improved ocean services such as the ones developed in Europe as part of the Copernicus Marine Service, which are of paramount importance for citizens and policy makers. Argo-2030 will sustain French and European industrial activities and technological expertise on ocean sciences, with important socioeconomic impacts on national and European levels.