Governments have changing priorities and a poor record for sustaining observations

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Consider the number of temperature profiles collected in the world ocean over the last 70 years. (figure-->)

The maximum numbers were reached in 1986, when the US Navy deployment of expendable temperature profilers for antisubmarine warfare peaked during the cold war.   Only the recent establishment of the ARGO profiling float array has reveresed the downward trend in profile numbers.    It has to be recognized that government interests are generally short term, changeable and subject to political and economic pressures.  It is naive to think that government can be trusted to sustain the necessary observations for centennial time scales, few governments have lasted that long.


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Last updated June 5, 2008
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