In only 10 years, the Argo Program has grown from an idea into a functioning global observing system for the subsurface ocean. More than 3000 Argo floats now cover the world ocean. With these instruments operating on 10-day cycles, the array provides 9000 temperature/salinity/depth profiles every month that are quickly available via the Global Telecommunications System and the Internet. Argo is recognized as a major advance for oceanography, and a success for Argo's parent programs, the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment and Climate Variability and Predictability, and for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. The value of Argo data in ocean data assimilation (ODA) and other applications is being demonstrated, and will grow as the data set is extended in time and as experience in using the data set leads to new applications. The spatial coverage and quality of the Argo data set are improving, with consideration being given to sampling under seasonal ice at higher latitudes, in additional marginal seas, and to greater depths. Argo data products of value in ODA modeling are under development, and Argo data are being tested to confirm their consistency with related satellite and in situ data. Maintenance of the Argo Program for the next decade and longer is needed for a broad range of climate and oceanographic research and for many operational applications in ocean state estimation and prediction.
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