Saturday, April 6, 2019

Sound of sea

from Guillaume Néry tweet
An emergency cry :
"The strange sound I sent yesterday is actually an SOS sent by the sea. Don't be deaf for his distress calls!" he tweeted sharing a new video with the first chilling images.
At the sound of the sound, the Sea Shepherd activists imagined who – with the French diver's compassion – imagined how the ocean's creeps in distress would look like.
To do this, the environmental organization that combats the protection of marine ecosystems has compiled 30 different animal sounds in grief.
"We then built a lighthouse to send this sound under the water " explains the video, which states that the lighthouse was placed near the French coast " so that the sound is finally heard by the man ".
" It is time to listen to the need of the sea "concludes the non-governmental organization that fears that the fish will disappear in 2048, if nothing is done.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Shipping data signals weakness in global economy

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), is issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. 
It is reported around the world as a proxy for dry bulk shipping stocks as well as a general shipping market bellwether.
source : Wartsila

From Reuters by Lisa Baertlein and Matthias Inverardi

The volume of U.S. ocean cargo imports arranged by Deutsche Post's DHL Group, United Parcel Service Inc, FedEx Corp and other freight forwarders fell sharply in February, sending a warning on global trade, a key barometer for the world economy.

Though just a sliver of the global delivery and logistics business, freight forwarding – the arranging of end-to-end transport of goods for importers and exporters – is seen as a proxy for international trade.


Towards the end of last year their clients binged on imports such as apparel, auto parts, chemicals and furniture to avoid U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods.
In February, those customers pulled back. U.S. ocean imports fell 4.5 percent, the first drop in two years, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's trade data firm Panjiva.
Freight forwarders' overall February decline was in near lockstep, down 4.4 percent, according to Panjiva data, published first by Reuters.

Customers - grappling with stockpiled goods and delays on a new round of planned tariff increases - eased off buying, exacerbating a normal slowdown due to Chinese New Year factory closures.
Switzerland's Kuehne und Nagel, which is the largest ocean cargo freight forwarder, saw its U.S. import volume fall 9.3 percent in February. Volume for DHL, the second largest, was down 8.6 percent.
UPS volume dropped 16.3 percent and FedEx, which twice in three months has warned about cooling global trade, saw its volume fall 14.6 percent.
The companies mentioned declined to comment on Panjiva's data.

Overall U.S. imports from China fell 9.9 percent in February, driving most of the monthly decline for freight forwarders.
Some experts said the retreat was the inevitable outcome of a bitter trade war between the world's biggest economic powerhouses.
"I'm not seeing these declines as anything alarming yet," said Stifel analyst David Ross, who is awaiting March results, due later this month.

But Panjiva research analyst Chris Rogers said data suggests that a widespread and accelerating trade slowdown is under way, with Europe, South Korea and Japan contributing.
The 4.6 percent fall in European imports in February, including car parts and furniture, could point to a "softer consumer spending picture than many expect," Rogers said.
DHL's Global Trade Barometer, which tracks three-quarters of all ocean and air freight, last week forecast that growth would continue to lose momentum.
Among other things, U.S. imports of consumer fashion goods and industrial raw materials are expected to contract slightly for the next three months, DHL said in a statement.
"The outlook for the rest of 2019 doesn't look great," said supply chain consultant John Haber, who thinks tariff-related stockpiling masked softening U.S. demand.

Links :

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Report: Russian GPS spoofing threatens safety of navigation

see interactive report : C4ADS

From BBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a bubble of spoofed GPS signals projected around him when he visits sensitive locations, a study suggests.

It involves the state using strong radio signals to drown out reliable navigation data, says non-profit C4ADS.
The report by the think tank documents almost 10,000 separate GPS spoofing incidents conducted by Russia.

Most incidents affected ships, said C4ADS, but spoofing was also seen around airports and other locations.
C4ADS, or the Centre for Advanced Defence, is a research organisation that uses sophisticated data analysis techniques to investigate global security and conflict issues.

Its report drew on more than 12 months of work analysing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) positioning data taken from several sources.
These included:
  • automatic route logging systems on ships
  • low-earth satellite signals
  • route histories taken from users of the Strava exercise app
  • public reports of vessels, aircraft and vehicles going off course
The analysis showed Russia was "pioneering" the use of GPS spoofing techniques to "protect and promote its strategic interests", the report said.

Generally, said the research group, the spoofing was being done to deflect commercial drones from entering sensitive airspace.
The spoofing was concentrated around 10 key locations including the Crimea, Syria, as well as ports and airports in Russia.

Locations of ships impacted by GNSS spoofing attacks.
The majority are outside of Russian waters

How does the spoofing work?

It involves flooding an area with radio signals that mimic those sent by global GPS satellites.
These ground-based signals are much stronger than those sent from satellites so the real information is crowded out.


Around 1,311 ships passing through Russian waters had to correct their courses because GPS signals were being spoofed and were unreliable, said the report.

Ships generally had several sources of navigation information, it added, so could get back on their correct path once they noticed they were headed off course.

Suspected anti-drone technology around the Kremlin.
Researchers believe this can be used to block GPS signals

Putin's Crimea visit

The report also revealed that the spoofing was regularly used when senior government figures were out and about.

Spoofed GPS signals were used during Vladimir Putin's visit to Crimea's Kerch Strait Bridge, the study said

C4ADS said there was a "a close correlation between movements of the Russian head of state and GNSS spoofing events".
One of the best known situations when navigational data was seen to go haywire was when Mr Putin visited the Kerch Strait Bridge in Crimea in 2018, said the report.


The study concluded that spoofing was only likely to become more widespread as the equipment needed to generate the fake GPS signals was now so cheap.
"Whether for profit, protection, or disruption, illicit actors, writ large, stand to gain from the proliferation of these capabilities," it said.


John Dunn, writing on the blog of security company Sophos, said the developments logged by C4ADS were "alarming".
He added: "The good news is that it's not that hard to detect spoofing with the right technology, nor work out who might be doing it."

Links :

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The warmest ever winter on the Northern Sea Route

photo : Thomas Nilsen

From The Barents Observer by Atle Staalesen

The Russian Arctic is increasingly hot.
The vast area that covers an overwhelming part of the country is undergoing unprecedented warming.
At record speed.

A new climate report from the Russian meteorological institute Roshydromet states that the polar parts of the country have become almost 2,3 degrees warmer over the past 30 years.
And in parts of the region, the heat is gaining breath-taking force.
In the Kara Sea, average air temperatures in the period 1998-2018 were as much as 4,77 degrees above normal.
In 2018, the biggest temperature deviation was found in the far eastern Chukotka Peninsula where the weather was 3,9 centigrades warmer than normal.
The meteorological institute has measured temperatures in the region since 1938 and never before registered this kind of warmth.

Tanker "Boris Sokolov" for the project "Yamal LNG". Kola Bay, 01/26/19

For the Russian government, the Arctic temperature increase is likely to be perceived with more satisfaction than concern.
President Putin has made the Northern Sea Route a top political priority and his so-called May Decrees includes a boom in shipments along the route to as much as 80 million tons by year 2024.

Federal officials are grappling with the task, and the warmer temperatures and rapid shrinking ice might give them a hand.
According to Roshydromet, wintertime air temperatures along the Northern Sea Route have never been as high as in 2018.
Since the late 1990s, the winter temperatures in the area has increased with as much as 5 degrees and summer temperatures with 1 percent.
At the same time, the Arctic ice has shrunk considerably.
The extension of the polar ice in the area is now four times less than in the 1980s, the report reads.

The trend is making shipping in the area far easier.
In January 2019, two new-built tankers crossed the route reportedly without icebreaker assistance

The first voyage of the tanker "BORIS SOKOLOV" on the Northern Sea Route.
At the moment, this is a record of late passage along the NSR from the Pacific Ocean to the Kara Sea. The tanker went under the wiring of the gas carrier Yamalmaks "BORIS DAVYDOV".
The caravan was traversed by Cheluskina, January 15, 2019
The first voyage of the tanker "BORIS SOKOLOV" on the Northern Sea Route.
It is a record of the NSR from the Pacific Ocean to the Kara Sea.
Yamalmaks "BORIS DAVYDOV" gas tank.
The caravan was traversed by Cape Chelyuskin, January 15, 2019

The «Boris Sokolov», a 214 meter long condensate tanker, and the «Boris Davydov», a 299 meter long LNG carrier, sailed from China and South Korea to Sabetta in the darkest and coldest part of the year.
It was the first voyage of the kind.

Also the permafrost is shrinking.
According to Roshydromet, the biggest melting of permafrost has over the last 10 years been registered in the area of Nadym, western Siberia, where 37 centimeters of formerly frozen ground has now been turned to mud.

 A map of shipping routes in the North Pole area in the last 10 years.
Woods Hole Research Center scientists are studying the routes as sea ice changes.

The same overwhelming warming is registered several places across the Arctic.
In Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago, researchers have experienced as much as 100 consecutive months with temperatures above normal.
«Some months have seen temperatures in the area around Longyearbyen with as much as 12-14 degrees over normal,» says climate researcher Ketil Isaksen.

Since 1961, the average temperature at Longyearbyen airport has increased with 5,6 degrees Celsius.
Located at 76° North, Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost permanent settlement.
If global emissions continue to increase like today, annual average temperature at Svalbard will be above zero degrees by the end of this century, the meteorological institute predicts.

Links :

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Arctic Ocean, explained

This map shows a 2.8-million-square-kilometre area of international waters in the central Arctic Ocean, beyond the 200-mile zone of the five Arctic coastal states: Canada, Russia, Norway, the U.S. (Alaska) and Denmark (Greenland).

From National Geographic by Sarah Gibbens
The Arctic Ocean is Earth's northernmost body of water.
It encircles the Arctic, and flows beneath it.
Most of the Arctic Ocean is covered by ice throughout the year—although that is starting to change as temperatures climb.
Pale and stark on the surface, the Arctic Ocean is home to a stunning array of life.

Though it's the world's smallest ocean—spanning 6.1 million square miles—the Arctic is now receiving unprecedented international attention.
Scientists are racing to understand how warming temperatures will alter Arctic Ocean waters—and by extension the rest of the climate—and world leaders are racing to control newly opening waters.

The Arctic Ocean is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth and feeling the onslaught of climate change.

Arctic movie trailer

Who lives there?

The U.S., Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Russia all have territories that reach into the Arctic Ocean.
About four million people live in the Arctic region, many of them indigenous groups that have thrived there for millennia.
To survive in the harsh climate, many of the region's people rely on the ocean's bounty to sustain their livelihoods.
This includes fishing, sealing, whaling, and other activities.

The Arctic's otherworldly landscapes are also increasingly drawing tourists to the region.

As once impenetrable sea ice becomes less stable, Northern Hemisphere countries have begun to take a greater interest in the Arctic as a path for shipping lanes, military presence, and commercial opportunities, particularly oil and gas exploration.

The coldest, windiest place on Earth holds 60 percent of the fresh water on the planet.
Recent expeditions to the Weddell Sea produced more than 700 new species, including giant carnivorous sponges.

Ocean life

Much of the Arctic Ocean's complex life can only be seen by underwater explorers who dive through holes in thick sea ice.
Much of the ocean here is dark, blocked from sunlight by ice cover, but photographers have dived with lights to expose underwater Arctic life.

Scientists note that studying life in the Arctic Ocean can be difficult because the region is hard to access.
Much is still unknown about the Arctic's marine food web.

Plankton—a group that consists of tiny organisms like algae and bacteria—make up the base of the Arctic food chain.
They convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into organic matter that in turn feeds everything from small fish to large bowhead whales.
Growing inside the tunnels naturally carved into sea ice are plankton-eating zooplankton.
Even farther below are bottom-dwelling organisms like sea anemones, corals, and sponges.

Many animals that are often seen roaming the sea ice are also adapted for the water.
Polar bears have large, paddle-like paws to propel them through the water, and they've been documented swimming for hours.
Walruses have large tusks that they use to pull themselves out of the water, and they find much of their food by foraging along the sea floor.

Whales and fish are often an important food source for indigenous people living in the Arctic, but commercial fishing has been banned in much of the Arctic Ocean.
In 2018 the U.S.
and nine other countries formally recognized that warming was creating new access to fishing stocks.
In response, the 10 countries agreed to a moratorium that bars fishing until scientists are able to assess whether Arctic Ocean fisheries can be used sustainably.

On 13 March 2019, Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent.
At 14.78 million square kilometers, it is the seventh lowest in the satellite record.
It wasn’t a record low, but it continued a trend of declining sea ice maximums and minimums. 
The 2019 maximum extent is 860,000 square kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 average maximum of 15.64 million square kilometers and 370,000 square kilometers above the lowest maximum of 14.41 million square kilometers set on 7 March 2017.
Credits: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

A warming Arctic

The Arctic Ocean is experiencing some of the world's most drastic warming from climate change.
In recent years, scientists have measured dwindling ice cover as record high temperatures inch up and up.
One 2016 study predicted that ships would be able to sail through open water to the North Pole by 2040.

The loss of sea ice will affect more than just the Arctic, scientists warn; it could change weather patterns around the world.
Some have even predicted it could lead to colder, more extreme winters.
A jet stream called the polar vortex encircles the Arctic, propelled forward by the difference between cold temperatures to the north and warm temperatures to the south.
As the Arctic warms, scientists say the polar vortex will become more unstable and likely to send Arctic air south.

In 2018, the Arctic Ocean experienced its second-worst sea ice decline on record.
Parts of Greenland were exposed to open ocean for the first time in millennia.

Scientists predict that warming waters could hurt wildlife.
Terrestrial animals like polar bears rely on sea ice to traverse the landscape in search of food and to hunt, particularly seals.
Warming will likely impact zooplankton life cycles, and thus the myriad animals that prey on them.

This video discusses who owns the ever-warming Arctic Ocean, which surrounds the North Pole of Earth.
Find out how as the Arctic melts, it opens up new possibilities for fishing, drilling and shipping.
But who owns the Arctic?
And who gets access to these resources?
Discover how Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) dictate the delegation of natural resources in the Arctic Ocean, and how the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) can create more disputes than answers when countries have overlapping territorial claims in the Arctic Circle.

The new Cold War

The Arctic was once covered with a formidable mass of ice that posed a steep challenge to shipping.
Now, as the Arctic Ocean warms and opens up, the race to control it is creating what some are calling a second Cold War.

Shipping lanes through the Arctic Ocean could creating faster routes between countries, leading to fortune and power for those who control them.

The U.S. and Canada both have a military presence in the Arctic, and China has recently expressed interest in expanding its influence there.
But Russia and Norway have done the most to prepare their militaries and industry for more passable Arctic Ocean waters.
The Trump administration has also pushed to launch oil drilling in the U.S. waters of the Arctic.

The complex maritime boundaries in the Arctic

Yet conservation groups like the World Wildlife Fund say expanding drilling for oil in the Arctic could further imperil the relatively pristine, and fragile, environment.
Underwater noise from drilling can disrupt the many marine animals that rely on sonar or acoustic communication, the group says.
And oil or gas spills—always a risk of industry operations—may be particularly hard to clean up and may have long-lasting effects in the cold climate.

Several nations are vying for access to a new Northwest Passage, one that could run from Greenland across Canada to Alaska.
It's a route explorers have been trying to navigate since at least the 15th century, but its treacherous, icy conditions have always stood in their way.
In August 2007, the passage was free of sea ice for the first time on record.

Links :

Monday, April 1, 2019

The cold shocking truth…. about cold water shock : what happens and what to do

 The average temperature of British and Irish coastal waters is 12- 15ºC, cold enough to cause cold water shock.
Professor Mike Tipton, leading expert in cold water survival at the University of Portsmouth, talks about what you should do if you find yourself unexpectedly in cold water.

From RYA

Cold Water Shock is a real danger in water below 15°C.
If you do find yourself in the water, a lifejacket could literally save your life.

Cold Water Shock is a cause of death that many people fail to appreciate.
Adequate clothing and a lifejacket will potentially help you to survive long enough to be recovered.

When the body is suddenly immersed in cold water it experiences a number of physiological responses that can rapidly incapacitate and even kill.
The sudden lowering of skin temperature is one of the most profound stimuli that the body can encounter.

The biggest danger is inhaling water and drowning, even if the water is flat, calm and you know how to swim.
Cold Water Shock causes an immediate loss of breathing control.
You take one or more huge gasps, followed by hyperventilation – very rapid breathing that is hard or impossible for you to control.

As blood vessels contract, increases in heart rate and blood pressure may result in cardiac arrest even in people who are in good health.
At the same time a “gasp” response may result in water being inhaled into the lungs and your breathing rate may increase by as much as tenfold.

The condition causes involuntary body reactions that can be as swift as they are deadly – and the ability to swim well has no impact on these responses.
It is far deadlier than Hypothermia, yet far less understood by boaters in general.

Hypothermia kills over time as heat is conducted away from the body leading to a gradual decline in body core temperature and loss of swimming ability, unconsciousness and ultimately death.
Conversely, most people who are susceptible to Cold Water Shock die in the first minute of immersion.

In the majority of cases, victims aren’t stupid or intentionally reckless, and many are strong swimmers.
They simply have the misfortune of getting caught in an exceptionally lethal trap.
Cold water preys on the unsuspecting and the careless, but it also waits patiently offshore for those with plenty of experience but who don’t take it seriously.

 This video has been produced for fisherman and looks at how the body automatically reacts to sudden immersion in cold water, how this places you at severe risk of death and how you can best improve your chances of survival.
SSTRAI and the Angling Council of Ireland wish to acknowledge the support of the RNLI and thank them for the use of this video as part our water safety training material.

What happens?

Sudden cold water immersion drastically reduces your ability to hold your breath typically from a minute or so to less than 10 seconds, whilst cold water in your ears can cause vertigo and disorientation.

At a water temperature below 15°C, and if you are not wearing a life jacket, especially an automatic one, cold water shock will:
  • cause you to inhale as you go under the water, due to an involuntary gasping reflex, and drown without coming back to the surface
  • drastically reduce your ability to hold your breath underwater, typically from a minute or so to less than 10 seconds
  • induce vertigo as your ears are exposed to cold water, resulting in failure to differentiate between up and down
Cold Water Shock is a danger in water below 15°C; that’s more or less the summertime average around the coast of the UK.
It is therefore important to think carefully about the clothing you wear and protection from the cold – a dry suit will provide additional protection, particularly in very cold water.

Coupled with the shock of going over the side, the condition may well contribute to a feeling of panic as you struggle to stay afloat; this will be far easier to overcome if you are wearing a correctly fitting lifejacket.

A very real risk

Last year saw a dog owner fall victim to Cold Water Shock after diving into the sea from his boat in an attempt to rescue his pet.
The 59-year-old was spotted in the water by two jet-ski riders near Brightlingsea in Essex.
The man’s son had reportedly tied a rope around his father to prevent him from becoming fully submerged in the water.
Emergency services, including an air ambulance and coastguard helicopter, were scrambled to the scene.
The casualty was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, but despite having been rescued after just ten minutes, he was sadly declared dead several hours later.

Horrifying film that shows what can happen if you fall into cold water after a couple of drinks

What to do

The RNLI’s advice is to float for around 60 to 90 seconds – the time it takes for the effects of the cold shock to pass and for you to regain control of your breathing.
The recommended floating position is to lean back in the water and keep your airway clear while keeping calm to maintain breathing levels.
You should then be in a better position to attempt to swim to safety, or call for help.

The key to surviving cold shock is being alert to the symptoms and acting quickly to protect your airway and conserve your strength.
If you ever recover someone from the water, they may seem okay, but may well be susceptible to secondary drowning where any water entering the lungs can cause a condition called pulmonary oedema.
This can happen within 1 to 24 hours after an incident in the water.

Symptoms to look out for are coughing, chest pain, troubled breathing, tiredness and irritability.
A close eye may need to be kept on the person after an incident in case of these delayed symptoms.

The RYA advises all boaters to think about the temperature of the water, make sure you are wearing a lifejacket, unless you have assessed it is definitely safe not to do so, and clip on your ISO approved safety line when the situation and weather dictate it.

Know your limits

Most people unfamiliar with cold water find 21C to be quite cold.
On the other hand, a competitive open-water swimmer who is used to swimming in 13C water, will probably think that 21C doesn’t feel very cold at all.
What’s important to your safety is how you personally respond to cold water.

For more guidance on the risks of Cold Water Shock, contact the RYA Cruising Team on 023 8060 4233 for your free copy of the latest Safety Advisory Notice.
More information on looking after yourself can also be found at

Why not try a one-day RYA Sea Survival course? It will show you how to make the best use of liferafts and the equipment they contain.
You'll also pick up survival techniques, top tips on the medical aspects of sea survival, as well as an in-depth knowledge of search and rescue techniques.

Links :

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Home ground

'Home Ground' is a short anthropological film exploring how two very different, but geographically close, cultures relate to one another within a striking and vast natural landscape.
Featuring Siggi the Icelandic sailor and Dines the Greenlandic hunter.
An independent film by James Aiken