CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero GIUGNO 2020
MAERSK COMMITS FLEET TO GLOBAL DATA RESEARCH PROJECT
In a statement, Maersk said it already has many vessels
contributing to the VOS programme, it plans to commit all of them by
the end of 2020.
"A.P. Moeller - Maersk (Maersk) has announced that its
entire fleet of vessels will participate in the global Voluntary
Observing Ship (VOS) programme, an initiative to research global
weather patterns and climate change."
The data they will record will help meteorologists create more
accurate weather and storm forecasts, and also in the creation of
atmosphere-ocean models what will help scientists better understand
"As a global container logistics company, our vessels form
a vital role in keeping supply chains moving safely and timely,"
said Aslak Ross, Maersk's Head of Marine Standards.
"Helping weather forecasting and climate science advance
makes great sense to us, since both of these areas affect our
operations in various ways."
While scientists have been collecting and sharing weather and
ocean condition observations for over 150 years around the world,
technological advances have significantly increased the amount of
information which can be shared.
A typical VOS records and transmits observations manually, with
a vessel crewmember reading data from instruments on-board 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
To obtain more data with higher precision, the first five Maersk
vessels participating in the VOS program are equipped with a more
advanced type of AWS, called the European Common Automatic Weather
The EUCAWS system automatically collects data on atmospheric
pressure, air temperature and relative humidity and transmits them
hourly to designated research stations. By the end of 2020, a total
of 50 such stations are planned to be operational on Maersk vessels,
providing the largest fleet of AWS from a single company.
While over 3000 ships are involved in the VOS program, overall
participation has declined in recent years due to the reduction in
the global commercial fleet's financial and crew resources.
New technologies such as AWS and electronic logbooks, however,
have led to an increase in the quantity and quality of observations
from each vessel. As the world's largest container ship fleet
operator, Maersk will be making a significant contribution to
improving the amount and quality of data available to the study.
"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."
In the United States, Maersk has worked actively with the VOS
sponsor, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), on a variety of environmental programs. These have included
testing air quality and vessel stack emissions and whale protection
programs on both coasts.
"We are pleased to be able to expand our long-term work
with NOAA to help gather high quality data to improve understanding
of global weather and climate conditions.
"This complements our work here in the US with NOAA on air
quality, vessel emissions and protecting endangered whales,"
said Maersk North America's Director of Environment and
Sustainability, Lee Kindberg..
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