A predicted ocean

Argo Program

Period: From 1999
Organizations: Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and others

Argo is an international program to build a system for constantly monitoring and understanding the state of the entire world’s oceans using observational robots (Argo floats). A global ocean observing network comprising these Argo floats has been developed with the cooperation of over 30 countries and organizations to enable temperature and salinity profile data from the surface to a depth of 2,000 meters to be quality controlled in near real time and provided to the world without any restrictions.
Data collected through the Argo Program are used by the meteorological and oceanographic agencies in various countries for weather forecasting, seasonal forecasting, and the monitoring and forecasting of oceanographic conditions as well as by scientists around the world for research. Presently, work is being carried out to expand the scope of the program, including extending the observation range to the seafloor and measuring biogeochemical variables.

Conceptual diagram of the operating cycle of an Argo float
Distribution of floats around the world and around Japan
Source: Japan Argo (JAMSTEC、http://www.jamstec.go.jp/J-ARGO/index_j.html)

Problem solving by taking integrated approach towards understanding the current status of global environmental change and predicting the future

Period: From 2020
Organization: Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

JAMSTEC contributes to achieving SDGs by providing scientific knowledge through research and development by understanding the current status of global environmental change and making future predictions. JAMSTEC also promotes activities related to Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and contributes toward safety and security of the ocean.

[Main areas of research and development]
  • Development of automated and efficient observation technologies to enable more accurate and efficient understanding of current marine environment.
  • Development of hyperspectral measurement technologies to enable observations of marine microplastics, aerosols, chlorophyll and other inorganic and organic particles.
  • Development of new sensors to widen the scope of possible observations.
  • Capacity building by working together with industrial sectors to enable sustainable service of [i] understanding the needs of stakeholders, [ii] gathering necessary information and data, [iii] making predictions based on gathered information and data and [iv] providing them as useful information that meets the needs of stakeholders.