Maersk, Danish shipping container line, joins global research on weather patterns and climate change by committing its 300 owned vessels to participate in the global Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program.
Accordingly, Maersk’s entire fleet will take part in the research by the end of the year.
The data recorded will assist meteorologists create more accurate weather and storm forecasts – and will also be used in the creation of atmosphereocean models that will help scientists better understand climate change.
Aslak Ross, Maersk’s Head of Marine Standards commented that
As a global container logistics company, our vessels form a vital role in keeping supply chains moving safely and timely. Helping weather forecasting and climate science advance makes great sense to us, since both of these areas affect our operations in various ways.
A typical VOS records and transmits observations manually, with a vessel crewmember reading data from instruments onboard the ship, or in some cases through automated weather stations (AWS). The data is then sent to the various national meteorological services for use in weather prediction models and to monitor actual conditions at sea.
Maersk’s first five vessels that will take part in the program are equipped with an avanced type of AWS, called the European Common Automatic Weather Station (EUCAWS). The EUCAWS system automatically collects data on atmospheric pressure, air temperature and relative humidity and transmits them hourly to designated research stations.
Thus, at the end of the year, a total of 50 such stations are planned to be operational on Maersk vessels, providing the largest fleet of AWS from a single company.
In addition, Ross stated that
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the global community, impacting our business as well as the societies and customers we serve and partner with in enabling trade. We have an ambitious strategy to decarbonize our fleet of vessels by 2050 and as we execute this plan, we are proud to have our vessels and crews help researchers in gaining a better understanding of this key global challenge.