A: Data from the Argo project are being used in several ways. Here are some examples:
• In the past few years, more than 100 research papers using Argo data have been published in scientific journals. Papers have addressed many different topics, including global ocean warming and sea level rise. One of Argo's biggest achievements has been the collection of wintertime measurements in the harsh conditions of the Southern Ocean, where very few measurements were previously made. Argo data have shown that the Southern Ocean and the northern North Atlantic are heating more rapidly than the rest of the globe. Once the research results are published, government decision-makers all over the world may look to them on issues related to climate, fisheries, ecosystems, and transportation.
• Computer modelers use the data to simulate present conditions in the oceans and predict future climate variability, such as El Niños or climate change. The computer models require accurate data, globally and over a period of many years, in order to run the models and make improvements.
• High school students are beginning to use Argo data to learn more about the oceans in relation to climate. Climate curricula using Argo results are being created for schools in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and other countries. Argo data are freely available on the Internet, and easy to access anywhere in the world. To learn more about the Argo project, visit http://www.argo.ucsd.edu.
-- Dean Roemmich, physical oceanographer, Physical Oceanography Research Division