Beginning September 19, 2000, an international collaboration of oceanographers from such institutes as Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Washington, Institut fuer Meereskunde (Germany), Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and others are placing a global array of 3,000 floating instruments in the world's oceans. This project is called Argo, and its mission is to relay data on the salinity and temperature of the upper 2,000 meters of the ocean. According to the site, "Argo builds on the existing upper-ocean thermal networks, extending their spatial and temporal coverage, depth range and accuracy, and enhancing them through addition of salinity and velocity measurements. The name Argo is chosen to emphasize the strong complementary relationship of the global float array with the Jason altimeter mission. For the first time, the physical state of the upper ocean will be systematically measured and assimilated in near real-time." Visitors to the Argo site can see color schematics of the instrumentation layout, the probes, and maps of the array and present floats in the oceans. Documentation such as Argo scientific meeting reports, the design document, and an informational brochures can be downloaded in .pdf format, and a PowerPoint presentation with detailed color graphics is also available for download. Links to international oceanography programs and related news sites are provided as well.


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