21 Apr 2011

The ARGO Project

From Our Changing World, 9:20 pm on 21 April 2011

Philip Sutton with an Argo floatThe ARGO Project is an international open-access collaboration collecting information on the salinity, temperature and density of the world's oceans. The information comes from a fleet of more than 3200 underwater 'robots' known as ARGO floats, which drift in the currents at 1000 metres depth, and provide oceanographic information on the top 2000 metres of water. Philip Sutton from NIWA (pictured left with an ARGO float, with the aerial and top of the float facing the camera. Image: A. Ballance) looks after the New Zealand contribution to the programme, which has mostly taken the form of float deployment using NIWA's research vessel Kaharoa. Kaharoa has deployed over 850 floats, far more than other single vessel, with much of her work taking place in the southern Pacific and southern Indian oceans.

The southern oceans play a very important role in global ocean and weather processes, and Philip Sutton tells Alison Ballance about some of the interesting findings from the ARGO programme.

You can listen to an earlier Our Changing World interview, conduced at the time of one of Kaharoa's ARGO deployment voyages.