On 5th and 6th March 2022, Galway Atlantaquaria and the Marine Institute are delighted to support STEPS Engineers Week with a weekend of fun, facts and competitions at Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill. The weekend will be dedicated to the Argo float, and showcase the importance of marine engineering.
An ocean journey with the Argo float, The Argo Adventure
Argo floats are robotic instruments that drift with the ocean currents and are engineered to move up and down between the surface and a mid-water level collecting data as it travels the ocean. Each float is programmed to rise to the surface every 10 days to transmit its data via satellite so scientists can monitor the ocean temperature and circulation. At the surface, the Argo float can also receive new mission instructions when it connects to the satellite. There are currently close to 4,000 floats in the Argo Programme collecting and transmitting data from areas of the global ocean that would otherwise be impossible to reach.
Argo floats distribute real-time information on temperature and salinity down to a depth of 2,000 metres below the ocean's surface. Measuring the temperature and salinity of the ocean is crucial in better understanding climate change and the role of our oceans on our climate.
Why do we need Argo?
We are increasingly concerned about global climate change and its regional impacts. Sea level is rising at an accelerating rate of 3 mm/year, Arctic sea ice cover is shrinking, and high latitude areas are warming rapidly. Extreme weather events cause loss of life and enormous burdens on the insurance industry. Globally, 9 of the 10 warmest years since 1880, when instrumental records began, were in the 21st century.
These effects are caused by a mixture of long-term climate change and natural variability. Their impacts are in some cases beneficial (lengthened growing seasons, opening of Arctic shipping routes) and in others adverse (increased coastal flooding, severe droughts, more extreme and frequent heat waves, and weather events such as severe tropical cyclones).
Understanding (and eventually predicting) changes in both the atmosphere and ocean are needed to guide international actions, to optimize governments’ policies and to shape industrial strategies. To make those predictions we need improved models of climate and of the entire earth system (including socio-economic factors).
Lack of sustained observations of the atmosphere, oceans and land have hindered the development and validation of climate models. An example from an analysis done prior to Argo concluded that the currents transporting heat northwards in the Atlantic and influencing western European climate had weakened by 30% in the past decade. This result had to be based on just five research measurements spread over 40 years. Was this change part of a trend that might lead to a major change in the Atlantic circulation, or due to natural variability that will reverse in the future, or is it an artifact of the limited observations?
In 1999, to combat this lack of data, an innovative step was taken by scientists to greatly improve the collection of observations inside the ocean through increased sampling of old and new quantities and increased coverage in terms of time and area.
That step was Argo.
There are three questions about the elusive and fragile ocean twilight zone that should be prioritized with the Argo Mission:
There is NO doubt the Argo Mission is really important; we need more engineers who can meet the challenges of the DEEP OCEAN exploration. We need to build solid engineering floats that can tell us an amazing story of hope for the ocean. We also need more scientists and researchers who can translate billions of terabytes of data into clear, simple warnings! We need Early detection, mitigation of the Climate Crisis in the ocean and the Science needs to be free for the public to inform themselves.
To learn more about the Argo Floats, they will be on display in the Aquarium from the 5th – 6th March as part of the Engineers Week celebrations, we hope to see you there.
If you would like to learn more, see.
BREAKING NEWS!! We will also display the WAVY family too.
The WAVY family- the MELOA project
The next stage of Marine Observation.
STEPS Engineers Week promotes engineering and the importance of the profession to children in Ireland. The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students in the Republic of Ireland through a portfolio of projects. https://www.engineersireland.ie/Schools/Engineers-Week/About-Engineers-Week#
Marine Institute - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzFhYoMJChk
EuroSea Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Cb8XwxAFY&t=1s
Argo Floats : How do we measure the ocean? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGbanFvBX38
Euro Argo Official - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvz-OXpGcpg
Argo Floats - a science-comics video with Rick Rupan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkA53jkAtpM
The cycle of an Argo Float https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkctZlQgU0g
AtlantOS Argo Float Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AZlbC_nTNY
Argo float animation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzHZdwaBr_Q
Two decades of Argo floats displacements https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTvCd4Y33Hw
Day in the Life of a SOCCOM Float https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5_pCmUM2Qc
A lot of engineers and scientists have worked very hard on bringing the Argo Project to Galway Atlantaquaria, we thank them and the Marine Institute - Foras Na Mara for their continued support of maritime STEM in Galway, and Ireland.
SURVEY to be completed on day of event
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