Biogeochemical-Argo NEWS Issue#5
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Note from the editors

We are pleased to share with you the 5th Biogeochemical-Argo Newsletter which starts with a very important news for BGC-Argo Canada and for the growing network of floats at global scale.

This newsletter additionally presents the important dates and meetings for BGC-Argo program life, science highlights, data management activities, float stories, new features on the website and more.

Please do not hesitate to disseminate this newsletter and subscribe to carry on receiving it! ... and follow Biogeochemical-Argo on Twitter @bgc_argo.

Previous issues of the BGC-Argo newsletter are available here.
Hervé Claustre & Ken Johnson
co-chairs of the Biogeochemical-Argo program
Participating countries

Intergovernmental Support of
BGC-Argo implementation

During the 51st session of the Executive Council (3-6 July 2018) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), unanimous support from Member States was given to the proposal to incorporate biogeochemical sensors in the Argo array.
Participating countries

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada just announced that it would commit new funding (up to $5.6M over the next 4 years) to support the implementation of the BGC-Argo program.
This initiative will also seek to enhance the value of ocean observations to Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Upcoming event

6th Argo Science Workshop, October 22-24 in Tokyo  

The 6th ARGO SCIENCE WORKSHOP will be organised in Tokyo, Japan, on October 22-24, 2018.

As part of this meeting, a special focus will be dedicated on BGC-Argo related science.
- Workshop on 23 October: Session 3: Biogeochemical Argo
- Public lecture on 24 October: Observing ocean health with Biogeochemical-Argo by Ken Johnson (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, USA)
Upcoming event

Biogeochemical-Argo float Workshop in Hobart
5-8 November 2018

The University of Tasmania will host a BGC-Argo float Workshop in Hobart 5-8 November 2018.  Topics to be addressed include current research in Australia and internationally, upcoming improvements and expansions of sensor and platform capabilities, and future directions and wider applications for scientific objectives. 

For further information contact lead organizer Philip Boyd: Philip.Boyd(at)
Upcoming event

Biogeochemical-Argo session @ ADMT 19 meeting 2018

The 19th Argo Data Management Team meeting will be hosted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography 2 - 7 December 2018, Sand Diego, USA, including:
  • The Biogeochemical Argo Data Management meeting on December 4 & 5
  • A dedicated SOCCOM Data Management meeting on December 3.
  • An Argo delayed-mode workshop on December 2 & 3.
Programs will be posted soon.
Upcoming event

Ocean Obs’ 19 in Hawaii

Ocean Obs’19

16-20 September 2019, Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, HI, USA.
The conference themes of the ocean Obs’19 are available here:

Regular registration is now open.
Past meeting

Biogeochemical Float Workshop, Washington, USA

The US Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry program sponsored the Biogeochemical Float Workshop at the University of Washington on 9 to 13 July, in Seattle. 80 attendees including many manufacturers (Aanderaa, NKE, RBR, Rockland Scientific, Sea-Bird Scientific, Teledyne Webb Research) from eleven countries (BRA, CAN, EGY, FRA, DE, JPN, MEX, NOR, ESP, UK, USA) attended the workshop hosted by Steve Riser’s Float Laboratory, Univ. Washington. Topics included the fundamental operations of profiling float and BGC sensors that are being operated in large numbers (oxygen, nitrate, pH, chlorophyll fluorescence, particle backscatter, and irradiance). Data processing, quality control, and sensor performance were discussed, and science applications of float data were presented.  Participants discussed the implementation of basin scale, profiling float experiments that would build towards a global observing system. A report of the meeting is in preparation

Biogeochemical-Argo floats deployments

Equatorial Pacific & North Pacific

Several US float programs led by Steve Riser, Steve Emerson and Andrea Fassbender are deploying floats in the Equatorial Pacific and in the North Pacific near Ocean Station Papa. The first of two floats has been deployed at Ocean Station Papa measuring pH/nitrate/O2/MCOMS.
Five floats with an assortment of pH, oxygen, nitrate and bio-optical sensors were deployed in the Equatorial Pacific in August.

Southern Ocean

The SOCCOM program is continuing to deploy 30 to 40 floats per year in the Southern Ocean, with 33 scheduled for 2018/2019.  One hundred and eight floats are now operating.  The first floats for the 2018/2019 field season will be deployed from the UK  JC Ross on the AMT28 cruise.  Six floats with oxygen, nitrate, pH and bio-optics will be deployed in the SW Atlantic to fill a gap in the SOCCOM array.  Additional floats will be deployed from the Kaiyo Maru (6) and Thompson (8) in the Indian sector, and the JC Ross (6) and Polarstern (7) in the Atlantic sector.  Funding supplements from the NSF and NASA have been received to ensure a target array of 200 floats is reached.

All of the SOCCOM data are receiving real-time quality control and adjustment to ensure that a research quality product is available to the community. 
The software tools developed by SOCCOM are available on GitHub at

Read more about the program, and latest news and cruise blogs at

First under-ice BGC profiles in Baffin Bay
(Arctic Ocean)

The first ever year-long time series by BCG floats were collected in Baffin Bay (Arctic Ocean), including during the 8-month long ice-covered period. Three float could survive the harsh Arctic winter and provide unique data about 1) winter vertical mixing of the upper water column due to brine rejection during sea ice growth, and the resulting nutrient reset, 2) the phytoplankton spring bloom that starts under 100% sea ice as early as April, and 3) the recurrent fall bloom.

BGC-Argo float story, successful six-year measurements

As part of the remOcean project, a BGC-Argo float deployed in October 2012 in the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre was still acquiring high quality data nearly 6 years later.
Besides P, T, S, this float was measuring 5 core BGC-Argo variables (O2, NO3, irradiance, Chla, bbp) as well as CDOM. With a 0-1000m profile every 10 days, the time-series has now reached nearly 6 year of acquisition.
Peer Review Articles

Featured BGC-Argo articles in peer-reviewed literature

A SOCCOM paper led by Alison Gray has been published at Geophysical Research Letters that re-evaluates the air-sea CO2 flux into the Southern Ocean using pCO2 values estimated from profiling float pH observations.  This paper finds the Southern Ocean was close to neutral for CO2 exchange during the period 2014 to 2017.

Gray, A. R., Johnson, K. S., Bushinsky, S. M., Riser, S. C., Russell, J. L., Talley, L. D., Wanninkhof, R., Williams, N. L., Sarmiento, J. L. (2018). Autonomous biogeochemical floats detect significant carbon dioxide outgassing in the high-latitude Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters
| DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078013
A paper by Bittig et al. presents, from the GLODAPv2 dataset, robust O2-based mappings of the four carbonate system variables and three macronutrients. It explores various applications for Argo-O2 floats like the validation of NO3 and pH measurements and the estimation of surface pCO2 or of variables presently not amenable to sensor measurements.

Bittig, H. C., Steinhoff, T., Claustre, H., Fiedler, B., Williams, N. L., Sauzède, R., Körtzinger, A. , Gattuso, J. P. (2018). An alternative to static climatologies: Robust estimation of open ocean CO2 variables and nutrient concentrations from T, S and O2 data using Bayesian neural networks. Frontiers in Marine Science
| DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00328
A paper by Wojtasiewicz et al. explores the potential of bio-optical methods to map deep biomass distribution in the Arabian Sea. The results show that observations of backscattering performed by profiling floats can be used as a useful proxy to investigate the changing dynamics of denitrification in oxygen minimum zones.

Wojtasiewicz B., Trull T. W., Udaya Bhaskar T. V. S., Gauns M., Prakash S., Ravichandran M., Shenoy D. M., Slawinski D., Hardman-Mountford N. J. (2018). Autonomous profiling float observations reveal the dynamics of deep biomass distributions in the denitrifying oxygen minimum zone of the Arabian Sea, Journal of Marine Systems
| DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00328

Special Issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research dedicated to SOCCOM

The SOCCOM program has a virtual, special issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans that is nearing completion.  

About 20 articles are now on line at the journal...
Peer Review Articles

GODAE Ocean View International School book

The GODAE Ocean View International School Book “New Frontiers in Operational oceanography” has been released: Chassignet, E. P., A. Pascual, J. Tintoré, and J. Verron (Eds.). (2018). GODAE Ocean View, 815pp,
Some chapters of this book address the emerging BGC-Argo network and the potential impact of BGC-Argo data in operational modelling activities.

Hernandez, F., et al., 2018: Measuring performances, skill and accuracy in operational oceanography: New challenges and approaches.
| DOI: 10.17125/gov2018.ch29

Telszewski, M, A. Palacz, and A. Fischer, 2018: Biogeochemical in situ observations – Motivation, status, and new frontiers.
| DOI: 10.17125/gov2018.ch06

Re-processing of BGC-Argo archive

The first analysis of global BGC-Argo data had shown possible issues in calibration of Chla (Roesler et al., 2017) and backscattering sensors (Poteau et al., 2017); a re-processing of the BGC-Argo archive has been recently undertaken by the various DACs to account for upgrades in sensor calibration provided by the manufacturer. This is the first time that the BGC-Argo data set was re-processed and the impact of this re-processing is currently evaluated. The new datasets are available on both GDACS.

Focus on BGC-Argo Webpages

Recent floats deployed

From the home page, the recently deployed float with their main characteristic (sensors, WMO, location) are accessible (Green button at the lower left corner). This table also lists the whole deployment history over the last 11 years. This archive corresponds to the updated map.

BGC-Argo Dissemination

CNRS NEWS : A Bloom for Ocean Robots, by Fui Lee Luk in English
Robots deployed in the North Atlantic Ocean have probed the rarely observed winter growth patterns of phytoplankton and established the starting point of the bloom periods of these microalgae, vital for fighting the greenhouse effect.

Contribution wanted !

In the section Media & Resources, we can post press articles, your interviews, but also videos on BGC-Argo cruises. Please provide us with materials

BGC-Argo profiles on October 2018

Active Sensors

In addition to the number of profiles per year, the number of BGC-Argo core sensors/variables that have been or are still active for the present year is now available from the home page (down).
Copyright © 2018 Biogeochemical-Argo Program, All rights reserved.

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