Studying the Ocean in the 21st century is more than ever a real challenge, a great human and scientific adventure. The Ocean is a mysterious universe, the abysses and deep sea beds are very difficult to access and remain almost unexplored to this day.
Since August 2020, Monaco Explorations has been collaborating in the development and consolidation of the Argo program and its biogeochemical component (BGC-Argo), as part of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). This support is reflected in the financing of a program office located at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and with a project manager based at the Institut de la Mer de Villefranche (IMEV), which is supervised by the CNRS and Sorbonne University. The position is directly attached to the JCOMMOPS centre of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
The Argo program supports the deployment of autonomous robots, called profiling floats, in the ocean. These instruments, able to descend to a depth of 2000 m, measure water temperature, salinity and many other important data. They are transmitted to satellites when the robot reaches the surface.
The main task of the project manager will be to organise the BGC-Argo programme and to develop strong synergies with other ocean observation programmes, particularly in the Mediterranean region. This funding constitutes an important contribution by the Principality of Monaco to world oceanography and its governance, with a view to sustainable management of the Ocean.
Image 1 : BGC-Argo float under water ©IMEV D.Luquet
Image 2 : Map of active BGC-Argo floats as of August 2020