Logistics Giant Turns Its Vessels Into Observation Ships Providing Real-Time Weather Data

Maersk is installing automated weather stations on 50 of its vessels 6 photos
Photo: Maersk
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A different approach to achieving the carbon neutrality goal for the maritime industry is to help advance climate research. And one very efficient way of doing that is to turn regular cargo ships into scientific observation vessels by adding cutting-edge weather stations to their equipment, making them rival the capabilities of satellites.
A giant in the shipping industry, the A.P. Moller – Maersk group has an enormous number of ships carrying millions of containers across oceans every year, so why not take them to the next level, with an extra feature? It’s been doing that already, as part of a collaboration with the global Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Scheme, under the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Hundreds of its vessels were providing regular weather observations but were doing it manually.

Now, Maersk is stepping up and installing automated weather stations on 50 of its ships in cooperation with the National Meteorological Service of Germany (DWD). While crossing the oceans, these cargo vessels will also be sending live data to DWD, contributing not only to accurate weather forecasts but also to advanced climate research. Plus, this high-quality data obtained in real time will also be shared with members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

According to Maersk, even if most of the meteorological information today is obtained via satellites, real-time data obtained from oceans is essential for weather forecasts and warnings, and what is known as the “surface atmospheric pressure” can’t even be measured by satellites. On the other hand, ship observations are critical for the cargo industry as well because weather routing ensures the safety of the personnel on board and of the cargo that’s being delivered.

These vessels equipped with automated weather stations will increase situational awareness for the weather forecasting specialists and also expand our knowledge of the ocean in relation to climate change.

Maersk is committed to achieving zero emissions by 2040, and it recently also debuted a full-scale offshore charging station for hybrid vessels through its subsidiary Maersk Supply Service.
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Editor's note: Gallery also showing the Maersk offshore charging station

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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