Collecting ocean observations


Over 2 million in situ ocean observations are reported daily from the systems which are part of the Global Ocean Observing System. (Ocean Ops Report Card 2020)

Important ocean observations are collected by roughly 4 000 Argo robotic floats which make temperature, salinity, pressure and biogeochemical measurements. In Greek mythology, Argo was the ship in which Jason and the Argonauts set sail to search for the golden fleece. Argo floats sail the 21st century seas and Argo is teamed with a satellite called JASON-1 that measures the shape of the ocean surface.  Data from Argo and JASON-1 together monitor the ocean currents, the oceans’ transport of heat and freshwater around the globe and sea-level rise.

Animal borne ocean sensors are used to retrieve a variety of variables in several chronically under-sampled regions. These variables include temperature and salinity profiles, but also fluorescence, oxygen or surface wave and wind activity. These observations also provide data on animal movements and behaviour, beneficial to protecting the animals and their habitats. (Ocean Ops Report Card 2020)

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-monitoring satellite was launched at 18:17 (CET) on 21 November 2020 from Vandenberg air force base, California. Its primary mission is high-precision ocean altimetry, providing information about sea surface topography including sea level and significant wave height. (Eumetsat, ESA, NASA)