News Release Article from  Fisheries and Oceans Canada

DFO Scientist Co-Authors Nature Article on Global Ocean Monitoring Project

ARGO Program Cornerstone of International Climate Change Research

February 3, 2016 - Vancouver, British Columbia

The Journal of Nature has published “Fifteen years of ocean observations with the global Argo array”, an article co-authored by Howard Freeland, an Emeritus Scientist in physical oceanography at DFO’s Institute of Ocean Sciences.

“Fifteen years of ocean observations with the global Argo array” examines the past achievements and future status of Argo - the largest research project of its type, through which the planet’s oceans are continually monitored by over 3,500 robotic probes deployed by over 30 partner nations.

Oceans have a huge role in shaping our climate, making Argo a vital tool in monitoring its ongoing change. The system’s worldwide coverage and real-time reporting represent a significant improvement over previous ship-based sampling, with its focus on international collaboration and open-source data leading to important new insights in related fields such as weather forecasting and fisheries management.

Dr. Howard Freeland is studying the role of oceans in controlling or moderating global climate change - particularly the El Niño phenomenon. Originally from Yorkshire England, he holds a Bachelor's degree in theoretical physics (Essex, UK) and a PhD in physical oceanography (Dalhousie, Canada).

Dr. Freeland has been recognized for his extensive research and publications on climate change and its impact on biological systems; ocean dynamics and control mechanisms; coastal, fjord and seamount oceanography; and Project Argo. A former co-Chair of the International Argo Steering Team and current honorary Project Director, he has also received the John P. Tully Medal in Oceanography and the 2013 Public Service Award of Excellence for Scientific Contribution.

As a significant contributor to Argo, the Government of Canada supports the work of scientists like Dr. Freeland and his DFO colleagues who study valuable ocean resources, and improve our understanding of climate change.

Quick Facts

  • Argo is the largest ocean climate monitoring system in the world. It is an array of over 3,500 free-drifting floats that collects data on ocean temperature and salinity, providing valuable information on changes to the Earth's climate and hydrological cycle.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proud to be a strong contributor to the international Argo project. Since 2001, the department has launched 340 Argo floats, 100 of which are still operating.
  • Argo data is open source, and used for a variety of purposes such as assessing climate change, improving weather forecasts and developing ocean models.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is a strong supporter of the global fight against climate change, and pleased to recognize the contributions of scientists like Dr. Freeland and his international colleagues. We’re restoring over $40 million in funding to federal ocean science and monitoring programs, helping to better serve the public interest by making decisions based on science, facts, and evidence.”

The Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Having been involved with Argo since its beginnings, I'm honoured to be involved in publicizing this innovative and impactful program. The wealth of open-source data provided by Argo has greatly contributed to research on the state of our oceans, along with insight on how they shape our climate, while serving as a model of international scientific cooperation.”

Dr. Howard Freeland, Professor Emeritus, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Associated Links:

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For more information:

For further information, or to arrange media availability with Dr. Freeland regarding either Argo, or DFO’s role in climate change research, please contact:

Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Pacific Region
media.pac@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
604-666-1746

NR-PR-16-01E

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Dr. Howard Freeland, DFO Scientist Emeritus, Physical Oceanography

"Dr. Howard Freeland, DFO Scientist Emeritus, Physical Oceanography"
– DFO


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