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In the year 2000, a global array of approximately 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats, known as the Argo Ocean Profiling Network, was planned as a major component of the ocean observing system. Argo originated from the need to make climate predictions on both short and long time scales and has led to international participation and collaboration to ensure global coverage.

Centers to handle the data collected by profiling floats have been established in a number of countries. These centers normally handle data from their nationally deployed floats, but sometimes provide that service to other countries or organizations. All Argo data will be publicly available in near real-time via the GTS (Global Telecommunications System) and in scientifically quality-controlled form with a few months delay.

Two Argo Global Data Assembly Centers (GDACs), the U.S. GODAE (Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment) Argo server and the French IFREMER (Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea) Argo server, are established to assemble the near real-time Argo data and provide them to the Argo users in a timely manner.

The U.S. National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) operates the long-term archive, also known as the Global Argo Data Repository (GADR), for Argo data. The GADR has the responsibility for preserving the data passed to the U.S. NODC. This means that the U.S. NODC has the responsibility to manage updates to Argo data that are reanalyzed some time later and for which corrections may be applied. While the GDACs are established to provide immediate service to all types of users with high speed Internet access, there are other users who will not be able to get the data in this way. The GADR provides alternate means for users to get Argo data and information.

For Argo information see: