Euro-Argo ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) is a consortium that manages and coordinates European contributions to support 25% of the international global Argo mission. Argo is the world's largest in-situ ocean observation system based on a permanent network of multi-parameter profiling buoys (Argo float). Euro-Argo ERIC aims to develop a long-term European contribution to the understanding of the oceans, their role in the climate system and their state of health.
Argo float profiling buoys perform measurements along the water column and can be equipped with a variety of sensors to measure temperature, salinity and biogeochemical parameters. The data are supplied to scientific research and operational oceanography centres (such as the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service - CMEMS) for studies ranging from climate change (from seasonal to decadal scales and at both regional and global scales) to monitoring the health of the seas.
Euro-Argo ERIC also makes a substantial contribution to the new phase of Argo that has already been launched (Argo programme extensions), which in addition to increasing the number of biogeochemical variables sampled, also includes extending coverage to deep sea areas, marginal seas, polar seas and coastal and shallow areas.
Euro-Argo ERIC recognises OGS as the Italian 'representing entity' (officially appointed by MUR), assigning it the role of Argo Regional Centre for the Mediterranean and Black Sea (MedArgo ARC). Italy is therefore responsible for coordinating Argo activities in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The national Argo infrastructure is called Argo-Italy and is supported by the FOE (special fund for universities and research) as a research activity of international importance.
The MUR has appointed two representatives of the OGS at Euro-Argo ERIC: one as a member of the Council and a second as a member of the Management Board.