Saturday, March 16, 2024

Women and the wind: crossing the Atlantic in a 50-year-old catamaran

Three women ignite the flames of curiosity and adventure which lay dormant within so many of us, by deepening our understanding of the synergy between nature and humanity—and by doing so radically, through a voyage across the North Atlantic on Mara Noka, a 50-year-old wooden catamaran.
From FieldMag by Ellen Eberhardt
In 2022 three women crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a wooden catamaran to document plastic pollution and find adventure, here's how

In June 2022, Alizé Jireh and Lærke Heilmann were at Red Beard Farm in Wilmington, North Carolina buying 15 pounds of sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and other sea-worthy produce.
They even got to pull some vegetables straight from the earth, a memory that brought Heilmann comfort when cooking with them in a tight galley kitchen a month later, miles away from land, with nothing green in sight.
 Photo by Alizé Jireh
At the farm, Heilmann and Jireh were completing one task in a long line of chores to prepare for a voyage like neither had embarked on in their lives.
Instead of taking the veggies home to a refrigerator, they brought them back to a 50-year-old catamaran called Mara Noka, and the boat's owner and captain, Kiana Weltzien.
The three women had been living on the vessel for a month, preparing the ship—and themselves—to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Beaufort, North Carolina, to Flores, Portugal for a project called Women and the Wind. 
But they had to wait for the right conditions.

 From left: Kiana Weltzien, Lærke Heilmann, and Alizé Jireh

When the right winds did strike, Weltzien, Heilmann, and Jireh planned to make the crossing in 30 days.
They would document the journey in order to study and highlight plastic pollution throughout the Gulf Stream and to inspire others, especially women, to undertake momentous journeys of their own.

Photo by Alizé Jireh

The first roots of the idea came up in 2017, when Weltzien discovered Mara Noka floating in a Panamanian bay.
She bought the boat on a whim, upending plans for a solo backpacking trip through South America.
She'd already been traveling the world by boat for more than two years after quitting a career in real estate; she had been exposed to life at sea first by a family she worked as an au pair for and then again as a crew member on a 70-foot-long Polynesian voyaging canoe.
Growing up between Brazil and Florida exposed her to various water sports, but it was only after those formative years as an adult that Weltzien embraced a dream of becoming a fortified, professional sailor.
Buying Mara Nokawas another dream realized—now she was the captain of her own ship.
The Clean Ocean Project is a non-governmental organization based on Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. It was founded in 2002 by Wim Geirnaert with a simple approach: everybody is part of the problem - and the solution.
For the last 20 years, the organization has removed tons of trash from beaches all over Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Morocco, Brazil, El Salvador, and Belgium.
Besides cleaning the beaches, the goal of the Clean Ocean Project is to educated people about the issue of ocean waste and create awareness towards more sustainable solutions.

Weltzien was living and sailing on Mara Noka in January 2020 when she arrived in the Canary Islands, where she met Heilmann at a party.
Beyond a shared passion for the ocean and its care, both women spoke Portuguese, and both had a fake tooth; coincidences that cemented a fast bond.
Heilmann was born and raised in a hippie commune in Denmark, where she spent summers sailing with family.
While she wasn't particularly interested in the sport, she grew passionate about the ocean, and eventually, she moved to the Canary Islands after falling in love with the surf and the slower way of life.
At the time of their meeting, Heilmann was working as a Project Coordinator for the Clean Ocean Project, an organization dedicated to beach clean-ups and ocean conservation education worldwide.

It wasn't long after that first meeting that they began dreaming of a transatlantic voyage drawn from a desire to shine a light on plastic pollution in the ocean and, of course, a natural call toward adventure.
The first step would be to repair Mara Noka—the old boat required lots of TLC after years at sea.

Photo by Alizé Jireh
"I thought I was going to die on this trip.
I was very certain of that."

Photo by Lærke Heilmann

When the pandemic hit, dreams of going anywhere came to a screeching halt worldwide, but it gave Weltzien and Heilmann more time to plan.
Finally, in February of 2021, Weltzien took Mara Noka out of the water and into a boatyard in St.
Augustine, Florida, where her grandmother lives.
Heilmann joined her four months later, and they planned to repair Mara Noka and set sail in a few weeks.

In actuality, the repairs took a full year.
With no prior experience in shipbuilding besides Weltzien's knowledge of mixing epoxy, the pair trialed and errored their way through the process, documenting it through photos and reels on the Women and the Wind Instagram page.
Friends and family visited to help and offer advice, and one experienced shipbuilder shared his expertise, making occasional appearances to offer advice, sometimes sage, like "listen to the boat."
As they deconstructed the boat, they began to understand its structure, and rebuilt from there.

After a year of sanding, sawing, painting, and gluing in the hot Florida sun, in May 2022, Mara Noka was finally ready for the water, complete with a fresh coat of paint and a hand-carved nameplate on a repurposed blank of original Panamanian sour cedar decking.
At the end of the month, Mara Noka, Weltzien, and Heilmann sailed from St. Augustine to Beaufort, North Carolina, to prepare for their final departure and to pick up their third crew member, photographer and filmmaker Alizé Jireh.

Photo by Alizé Jireh

All while Weltzien and Heilmann were remaking Mara Noka, Jireh was keeping up over Instagram, and she became enchanted by the two women restoring a 50-year-old catamaran by hand.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, she too had spent her childhood around the water and had vivid dreams of sailing.
At 16, she started shooting documentary photo work and started traveling with it, eventually connecting with Weltzien while working at a production company in South Africa.
The two stayed in contact, and during a trip to St. Augustine in 2021, Weltzien invited her to the boatyard to check out the progress on Mara Noka.
Jireh was smitten with the whole operation.
Half a year later, Weltzien sent her a message asking if she'd not only like to come along for the voyage, but also capture the experience for a planned documentary.
With no prior sailing experience save those childhood dreams, Jireh responded with a resounding yes.
"For me, it was no question about it," she says.

With Mara Noka repaired and Jireh on board, the small crew spent most of the early summer waiting to set sail and growing accustomed to the boat, and each other.
For Weltzien, who had been happily sailing solo on Mara Noka for years, adjusting to traveling with others would be one of the most challenging aspects of the journey ahead.
"I'm a solo sailor," Weltzien explains.
"So to sail with people, I needed a purpose. And the purpose is to spread this message of 'if we can do anything, you can do anything.'"
Although Heilmann and Jireh were equally dedicated to spreading their intended message, simply surviving the trip proved the tallest hurdle.
"I thought that it would be my last time on earth," Jireh says.
"I thought I was going to die on this trip. I was very certain of that."
"To sail with people, I needed a purpose. And the purpose is to spread this message of 'if we can do anything, you can do anything.'"

Photo by Alizé Jireh

On June 27, 2022, Mara Noka officially set sail.
For the next 30 days, the women went without technology, the only connection to the outside world via a satellite phone and a friend, who posted updates to Instagram on behalf of the crew.
Even Jireh, who kept her camera rolling for the better part of the voyage, waited until landfall to review more than 100 hours of footage captured during the trip.
For 30 days, it was just Weltzien, Heilmann, Jireh, Mara Noka, and the sea.

In the beginning, the ocean welcomed them with calm conditions, but still, each crew member battled personal challenges.
Jireh fell seasick almost immediately and remained so for two weeks.
Heilmann tested positive for COVID just a few days in.
And Weltzien was navigating living with two inexperienced sailors on a boat and in an ocean that had previously brought her seclusion and peace.

The women adjusted to their new reality slowly.
"I feel like we didn't talk much for those first two weeks," Heilmann says.
"We were all in our little zone."
They remained distant throughout the beginning of the journey, in part as a natural reaction to a new lifestyle, and then later they were forced to due to two weeks of bad weather.
But there were moments of connection, too.
They shared all their meals, a ritual that remained with them through the duration of the voyage.
"One thing I think we always did together—except for during the peak of the storm when [Heilmann and Jireh] were my prisoners locked below in the dungeon—was eat together," Weltzien explains.

Photo by Lærke Heilmann

Photo by Alizé Jireh

On the seventh day, the winds started to pick up and were followed by weeks of rain, 10-20 foot waves, torn sails, and gear tossed overboard.
The three women rotated between sleepless nights in water-soaked beds, sticky and wet from the constant saltwater leaking through the ½-inch plywood into their sleeping quarters.
Weltzien was often busy manning the boat in the swell, while Heilmann and Jireh rotated between helping with tasks on board and taking shelter in the cabin below, intimated by the full force of the weather.

Throughout it all, Jireh kept her Panasonic GH 5 camera rolling in 4K (between taking breaks to throw up).
Her equipment survived the trip, but barely.
"That shit dropped so many times," she says.
"The screen stopped working." Both Weltzien and Heilmann were impressed with Jireh's abilities to create in an environment that was literally shifting below her feet.
"It's so impressive having seen the other side," Heilmann says.
"Seeing her with her camera, throwing up."
To the crew, the camera started to develop a personality of its own, an electronic Wilson to their collective Tom Hanks.
"Being a tiny little speck of a boat in the middle of the ocean, seeing trash every day makes you realize that the trash is absolutely everywhere."

Photo by Alizé Jireh

Another constant was the trash they saw in the water.
Even out to sea, pieces of plastic would float by every day.
Between collecting what they could and their own gear lost during storms, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount going into and coming out of the sea.
"Being a tiny little speck of a boat in the middle of the ocean, seeing trash every day makes you realize that the trash is absolutely everywhere," Weltzien says.
They did what they could before, during, and after the voyage, fishing trash out of the ocean and participating in beach clean-ups when on land.
"You just have to focus on one solution to the problem at a time," says Heilmann.

On their 19th day at sea, just over halfway through the voyage, the sun reappeared with a small swell and light winds.
To celebrate, the crew broke out a bottle of red and their lingerie, a ritual they had planned before setting sail.
Buoyed by the shifting seas, amidst clothing and blankets hung to dry, they looked ahead to the remainder of the voyage in good spirits.

Photos by Alizé Jireh

And the ocean seemed to reward them for surviving those initial trials; the remaining 10 days held with good weather, and after surviving the turbulent seas together, they experienced its bounty.
They talked more, slept on the deck under the night skies, listened to music, read, journaled, and above all else, indulged in the vastness of their surroundings and the lessons of life on the water.
Dolphins, whales, and seabirds paid visits.
Heilmann caught her first fish, a mahi-mahi, and spent two days crafting a pirate flag emblazoned with a skeleton mermaid.
Weltzien moved back to her normal sleeping quarters from the 12-inch wide bench in the galley she'd been using, and Jireh finally managed to keep food down.

One day out from landfall, all three women anticipated their arrival with a flood of emotions.
"I hate arriving," Weltzien says.
"It's exciting. It's great, it's beautiful, but it's just like it's your bubble bursting. It's your reality that you thought was real for so long. Just poof."
During their month at sea, the boat and their life aboard it had been a departure from the burdens of modern living, a gateway to complete symbiosis with nature.

Yes, certain parts of the voyage had been extremely challenging, but they had all consciously agreed to the perils the Atlantic might present.
Life at sea was expansive and vast, and their lifestyle reflected the same.
Reaching land, where rigid thoughts, schedules, and structures rule life suddenly seemed more daunting than 15-foot waves.
"Everything has to be explained in words that are somehow not enough to explain what you felt," Heilmann shares.
"It's very overwhelming."

Photos by Alizé Jireh

On the night of July 25, 2022, cell phones buzzing with incoming messages from the past month, Mara Noka cruised past other moored boats and dropped anchor in a harbor off Flores, an island in Portugal's Azores archipelago.
The voyage was complete.

For the next month, the crew debriefed while sailing around the Azores together, and waited for the right conditions to deliver Heilmann and Jireh to their departing flights.
After goodbyes, Weltzien sailed by herself to Brazil, a crossing that lasted 43 days, realizing along the way that she missed their company.

Today, the three women are spread between Brazil, the Canary Islands, and the US, but led by Jireh, they're editing and producing the Women and the Wind documentary.
They plan to overlay Jireh's ethereal footage with journal entries from the trip, and they've also set up a Kickstarter to help meet production costs.

Weltzien, Heilmann, and Jireh are still processing the voyage.
They share what they can put into words about how it changed them.
"I feel a lot of little things that maybe mattered before, I really don't think they matter at all," Heilmann explains "I think I've never done anything that long with so many uncertainties and so many reasons that you shouldn't. And it feels really powerful."
Links :

Friday, March 15, 2024

High waves, high claims: new study on container losses

Credit: Gard Club

From Safety4Sea by Kunal Pathak, Team Leader, Claims, Arendal; Siddharth Mahajan, Loss Prevention Manager Asia, Singapore; Helge A. Nordahl, Vice President, Analytics, Oslo; Are Solum, Team Leader, Claims, Arendal, of Gard P&I Club explore the subject of container losses, in relation to insurance claims. 

In a comprehensive new study, we delve into the impact of weather on container stack collapses.
Our findings show the impact of progressively increasing wave height, the quantified risk of high waves, and variance in weather exposure among different operators.
Hopefully, the study sets the stage for a deeper dialogue within the industry about mitigating the impact of adverse weather on container safety.

As the world economy develops, the volume of containerized trade increases steadily.
Last year, the global container shipping fleet grew by almost four per cent according to UNCTAD, and in Gard’s P&I portfolio, the segment has increased by as much as 16 per cent over the past five years.
It currently makes up 18 per cent of our insured vessels.

With more container shipping comes also a higher risk of casualties.
Certain incidents, such as stack collapses or containers lost at sea, are monitored closely as they tend to be relatively more severe.
Container losses also have the IMO’s attention, and they are working on making reporting of lost containers mandatory.
Meanwhile, insurers and other key stakeholders are involved in detailed work such as the Top Tier project to investigate the causes of stack collapse and seek solutions.

Data analytics

To contribute to the industry understanding and to help prevent losses, we have studied all cases of stack collapse where Gard was involved as a P&I insurer.
These cases occurred between 2016-2021 and we have looked at the weather data to make sure we understand the factors contributing to these incidents.
More specifically, we have combined Gard claims data with geographical and meteorological data from Windward which includes estimated wave height and wind strength on an hourly basis.
When it comes to waves, several measures are common.
For this study, we have used the maximum wave height.

Our claims data includes a wide selection of cases, both when it comes to severity, vessel size, and geographical location.
For each claim we have collected meteorological data for the incident date as well as the six days leading up to the day of the incident.
This allows us to analyse how the weather progressively worsened over a period of time.
Credit: Gard Club

Impact of vessel’s size

Weather needs to be seen in context with ship’s design and size, of course, although we do see that container stack collapses happen across different size segments.
This just underscores the fact that there are usually several causative factors involved in these incidents, as highlighted in our article Why do containership stacks collapse and who is liable?

Analysing incident numbers relative to number of vessels in our portfolio provides valuable insights on claims frequency across different size segments, which can range from feeders (less than 3,000 teu) to ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) exceeding 15,000 teu where the stack heights can exceed 10 high on deck.
Despite a higher number of incidents on smaller vessels, there is a clear correlation between incident frequency (or likelihood) and vessel size, as depicted in the graph below.
The 6-year average claims frequency for stack collapses on feeder vessels is 1%, whereas for ULCVs, it rises to 9%.

Impact of progressively increasing wave height

When looking at a 7-day period before the incident, we noticed that on Day 1, vessels are on average experiencing wave heights of 2.5m, which corresponds to wind force 5 on the Beaufort scale.
The weather then progressively worsens, and this increase in wave height is more pronounced from Day 6 onwards.
The average wave height peaks on Day 7 at 6.5m which corresponds to gale force winds.
The duration for which the vessels were exposed to sea conditions with wave heights of 4m and above (corresponding to near gale force winds or stronger) was 72 hours.

We underline that these are average wave heights of all vessels that had a stack collapse incident.
If we look at each vessel separately, many of them were exposed to these conditions for a much longer duration of time.
During the 7-day period we examined (which is also shown in the graph below), the “incident zone” for majority of the incidents was a 24-hour window on the last day.

It was therefore evident that the vessels experienced average wave heights which progressively increased by two and a half times during the 7-day period.
Interestingly, the incidents did not always happen when the wave height was the highest, but after the weather had started to subside.
This might be partly due to the fact that the time of reporting the incident to Gard may not always coincide with the time of the incident itself.

Average maximum wave heights during the 7 days leading up to the incident
Credit: Gard Club

Higher waves – higher risks

To further study the exposure to high waves, we looked at vessels that are exposed to a wave height of 7m (corresponding to Bf 8 gale force winds) or above.
An observation of interest was that while vessels involved in incidents spent only 5% of their time in wave heights exceeding 7 meters during the incident year, half of all incidents occurred during such conditions.
Analysing the maximum wave heights experienced by vessels on the day of the incident, as shown in the graph below, reveals a similar pattern.
Essentially, despite spending 95% of their time in calmer waters, the relatively small percentage spent in adverse conditions significantly amplifies the risk of incidents, potentially up to 20 times higher, as indicated by our study.

Another finding we had was that among the vessels that had a stack collapse incident, the share of vessels exposed to such high waves increased by almost 12 times from day 1 to day 7.
This suggests that these vessels may not have been able to avoid such heavy weather in spite of the advanced weather routeing tools available.

Credit: Gard Club
*This chart shows the maximum wave height experienced by the vessels on the day of the incident, whereas the previous graph showed the average of the maximum wave heights to which the vessels were exposed over a 7-day span.

Examining the global container fleet, roughly 3.4 per cent are exposed to such weather at any given time.
Interestingly, among various size segments, the new Panamax 1 segment (8,000 – 12,000 teu) appears to have a higher exposure to wave heights of 7 meters and above compared to any other size category.
This trend is also evident for wave heights around 4 meters.

Differing risk profiles

The variation in exposure to adverse weather is not only limited to different size segments in our container fleet.
From our study for the period 2016-2022 for the global container fleet, we also see that some container operators or owners are more exposed to the risk of adverse weather than others.

In essence, this discrepancy likely stems from differences in operators’ risk tolerance and the internally defined weather thresholds for the vessels.
However, the consequences of decisions made in the chartering or the operator’s desk are quite evident in the safety of the vessel and the cargo.


Exposure to progressively worsening weather poses a clear risk, and our studies highlight two crucial aspects in this regard.
The first involves the duration of exposure, while the second concerns weather thresholds, such as maximum wave height for a vessel, influenced by factors like stability, stack height, and physical condition of the securing equipment.
Based on our study findings there are key questions to be considered by the various stakeholders working in the liner industry.
Conflicting priorities on weather thresholds

Does the understanding of the weather limiting factors, such as maximum wind and wave height for a voyage, vary among different stakeholders, and if so, why?

Conflicting priorities may arise between a commercial operator and a vessel’s master regarding voyage routing.
While a master might prefer a slightly longer route with less exposure to adverse weather, a commercial operator might prioritize time and fuel savings, potentially pushing the limits.
Additionally, we’ve noted that routeing advice to a vessel could vary based on whether their principal is a charterer or owner.
Another variable to consider when determining weather thresholds is the vessel’s stability, which may be different from the loading computer calculations, given the misdeclaration of weights and/or a mismatch in stowage location.
Suitable tools for complex rolling phenomena

Do seafarers have access to suitable digital / automated tools for evaluating the risk of intricate phenomena like resonant, synchronous, and parametric rolling?

The term “adverse weather” is subjective to seafarers.
Often, advice on mitigating the risk is either oversimplified (by recommending avoidance of adverse weather altogether) or overly complicated (by suggesting calculations for resonant, synchronous, and parametric roll risks based largely on estimates).
While assessing the influence of weather on a vessel’s motions may seem straightforward in theory, it is much more challenging for seafarers in practice, due to numerous unknowns and estimations.
Slackening of lashings in heavy weather

Whether there is indeed a progressive deterioration of the lashing efficacy that leads to failure beyond a certain time period?

The constant motion of a vessel in heavy seas can exert loads on container stacks, leading to the potential loosening of lashings.
The loosening process can start early in heavy weather conditions, especially if the ship is navigating through rough seas for an extended period.
In theory, routine lashing checks may seem as an appropriate preventive measure, but in practice, this could pose safety concerns, as the crew would then be exposed to adverse weather during lashing checks.
This risk would be even greater onboard larger vessels where there are a lot more lashings to be checked.
Tighter weather routeing for vessels with deteriorated securing equipment

Should weather routeing considerations be tightened for vessels with deteriorated container sockets and lashing eyes?

Experience shows that condition of lashing and securing equipment degrades over time due to usage and inadequate maintenance.
It is no surprise that stack collapse incident investigations often emphasize poorly maintained lashing and securing equipment as contributing factors.
In fact, corroded sockets and lashing eyes rank among the top 3 findings in Gard’s condition survey data for container ships.
Despite these issues, containers continue to be loaded in affected slots, and repairs are postponed until drydock for commercial reasons.
Our recommendation is of course that affected slots be taken out of service until repairs are carried out, but from a pure routeing perspective, weather thresholds might need to be adjusted for such vessels.
We understand that a few liner operators already have such procedures in place on this for both owned and chartered in tonnage.
Impact of weather on cargo securing inside a container

To what extent can the securing of cargoes inside containers endure movement caused by adverse weather?

Prolonged exposure of the vessel to rough weather could lead to deterioration of cargo securing within the container, potentially leading to cargo breaking loose and shifting within the container.
This, in turn, adds additional forces on the container stack.
The ship’s crew lacks visibility and control over this aspect.
The solution involves engaging in dialogue with and educating shippers, along with implementing improved Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
Broadening KPIs for weather routeing

Should safe weather routeing and the avoidance of adverse weather be included as components of internal key performance indicators (KPIs)?

Modern digital tools make it much easier to assess a vessel’s or fleet’s exposure to weather over a specific timeframe.
This assessment not only helps a company determine if its vessels encountered weather conditions exceeding internally defined thresholds but also facilitates benchmarking against other vessels of similar size and on similar routes, whether under the same management/ownership or different.
Given that most liner operators already have dedicated teams focusing on vessel routing for efficiency and scheduling purposes, expanding their focus to include the aforementioned aspects could enhance safety.
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Thursday, March 14, 2024

Pumped up: will a Dutch startup’s plan to restore Arctic sea-ice work?

A polar bear on the sea ice in Naujaat, or Repulse Bay, Nunavut, Canada. 
Arctic ice is shrinking at a rate of almost 13% a decade, and climate scientists are warning that ice-free summers in the Arctic are inevitable by 2050. 
Photograph: Paul Souders/Getty Images

From The Guardian by Senay Boztas

As the Arctic warms, devastating the climate and ecosystems, an old idea used to create skating rinks could be deployed to restore melting ice caps, despite scepticism from some experts

Every winter when the temperatures drop, the IJsmeester (ice master) in villages around the Netherlands carefully starts to flood a field with water to form enough thin layers of ice to create a perfect outdoor skating rink.

Now a Dutch startup wants to use the same technique to help solve a major ecological problem: melting Arctic ice and its devastating effect on the climate.

“In cold weather, the IJsmeesters start a frantic race to be the first village that can organise an ice-skating marathon,” says Fonger Ypma, chief executive of Arctic Reflections. 
“They flood a meadow with a thin layer that becomes ice, and every night they apply more thin layers on top of it. And then, once it’s thick enough, they start skating. It’s our cultural heritage.”
The ice is about a metre thick.
By refreezing the top layer, where there is snow, we will add 10-20cm
Andrea Ceccolini

Arctic ice is shrinking by almost 13% a decade, according to WWF, prompting warnings from climate scientists that ice-free summers in the Arctic are inevitable by 2050
This, coupled with the very visible evidence of polar bears’ habitat melting, and the threat to the Indigenous people who rely on the Arctic ecosystems for survival, gave Ypma a wild thought.

“The Arctic acts as a sort of mirror or heat shield for the Earth and a substantial part of global warming comes from the Earth’s surface becoming darker,” he says.
“And so I thought: isn’t there some way to maintain that ice sheet for a bit longer until CO2 levels come down and the ice becomes regenerative? I had this naive idea: why not pump water on top of it?”
Real Ice’s experiment in flooding part of Iqaluktuuttiaq in the Canadian Arctic.
Photograph: Arctic Reflections

Ypma was not the only person to be considering this, he realised, after checking with experts. 
“I took the fact that it had been researched already as a positive sign, because then you’re not the only crazy person!” he says.

Arctic Reflections is just one company looking to use a technique that is already being employed in several places for other purposes, such as creating ice roads in Canada and Finland and for oil exploration in the Arctic (typically using diesel pumps). In 2016, the physicist Steven Desch and colleagues from Arizona State University proposed building 10m wind-powered pumps over the Arctic ice cap to bring water to the surface in winter, potentially adding a metre of ice.

Ypma recently joined a separate Bangor University spinoff, Real Ice, which has a similar idea, for a series of field tests in Iqaluktuuttiaq (the Inuit name for Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, Canada, with a 600-watt, hydrogen fuel-cell-powered water pump.
This not-for-profit company has drilled through the ice, pumped up seawater and let temperatures approaching -50C (-58F) refreeze it at the surface.

“At the moment the ice is about a metre thick,” says Real Ice’s co-chief executive, Andrea Ceccolini. “By refreezing the top layer, where there is snow, we will add 10-20cm. After that, the ice will grow thicker because we are removing the snow insulation, which is constraining further growth.”

Ceccolini hopes to develop an underwater drone that could navigate the -1.5C water, detect the thickness of the ice, pump up water as necessary, refuel and move on to the next spot. 
“If we demonstrate [this over] 100 sq km a day with 50 drones, then we can show that this can actually scale [up] to a much larger area,” says Ceccolini.

The only real solution is to either pull carbon out of the air or cut our emissions in half
Prof Julienne Stroeve

The goal is also local, to restore sea ice at a site whose Inuit name means a place of good fishing. 
Guardian graphic. Source : Real Ice
“A large part of our success will be determined by how well we engage with the local community,” says the co-chief executive, Cian Sherwin, who envisages giving the technology to Indigenous landowners with some form of philanthropic part-funding.
“Local people have started to notice differences when it comes to wildlife patterns, migration routes, and we hear locals have to travel almost 300km to hunt their ‘country food’: caribou, elk, moose,” he says.
“We’ve also heard accounts of how elders, the resident experts, now can’t actually predict when the ice will be safe, which is shocking to members of the community.”
One of the Arctic Reflections team measures a layer of new ice laid on top of older, darker ice in Iqaluktuuttiaq, or Cambridge Bay. 
Photograph: Arctic Reflections

For Arctic Reflections, however, the key aim is to boost the “albedo” – the whiteness of the ice – and its ability to reflect the sun’s rays back to the atmosphere. 
The Dutch startup’s other idea is to explore whether Arctic currents could spread ice thickened at strategic locations. 
So instead of needing as many pumps, they could potentially save 100,000 sq km of ice from melting in the summer with just 100 to 1,000 installations.

Another Dutch project, the Sand Motor, illustrates this perfectly, says Ypma. Known as “beach nourishment”, it uses sea currents to spread sand naturally to bolster the Netherlands’ coastal defences.

“I live in Delft and I go with my kids and my wife quite often to the Zandmotor project: it’s a really good analogy,” he says. 
“If you’re positioning your ice-making sites in the right locations, then you can really leverage those flows.”

But there are still unanswered questions, such as how ice thinner than three metres will react to flooding and whether thicker ice will last, says Hayo Hendrikse, assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, who has worked on lab and real-life trials with Arctic Reflections.

We have to resort to these kinds of crazy measures to buy time
Maurits Groen

“We know we can just pump water on top of ice, flood it and then it will freeze,” he says. 
“But can we also do it with a positive gain in the end?

“I see a potential for this on a smaller scale, for example, if you want to strengthen natural habitats for polar bears and seals, where the sea ice in summer could survive a bit longer if we target specific fjords or bays.
But Hendrikse adds: “It’s not a solution – it’s a sticking plaster.”

Julienne Stroeve, professor of polar observation and modelling at University College London, says it would probably be impossible to act on a large-enough scale to have a real impact on the climate. 
An IJsmeester on the rink of the Winterswijk Ice Club in the eastern Netherlands. Layering ice for skating is a cherished Dutch tradition.
Photograph: ANP/Alamy
“I agree that the sea ice is worth protecting, since it helps to keep our planet cool, but the entire Arctic Ocean is about 14m sq km,” she says. 
“The only real solution is to either pull carbon out of the air or cut our emissions to half of what they currently are.”

Maurits Groen, a jury member of the Dutch Wubbo Ockels innovation prize, which recently gave an award to Arctic Reflections, agrees that tackling the causes of the climate crisis is preferable.
“But the speed at which things are going wrong is such that we have to resort to these kinds of crazy measures to at least buy some time,” he says.
“It’s a proven technology and cost-effective compared with alternatives – we have to start somewhere.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

World on brink of fourth mass coral reef bleaching event, NOAA says

A Healthy brain coral rests under Port of Miami regardless of extreme heat in Miami, Flordia, U.S., July 14, 2023. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona/File Photo
From Reuters by Gloria Dickie
  • Southern Hemisphere reefs set to bleach in coming months
  • Follows heat records fuelled by climate change and El Nino
  • Scientists conduct fly-overs at Australia's Great Barrier Reef
  • Previous mass bleaching events in 1998, 2010 and 2014-2017
The world is on the verge of a fourth mass coral bleaching event which could see wide swathes of tropical reefs die, including parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.
Marine biologists are on high alert following months of record-breaking ocean heat fuelled by climate change and the El Nino climate pattern.
Images showing the bleaching and death of coral off Heron Island from 2021 through to February. Photograph: CoralWatch
"It's looking like the entirety of the Southern Hemisphere is probably going to bleach this year," said ecologist Derek Manzello, the coordinator of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch which serves as the global monitoring authority on coral bleaching risk.
"We are literally sitting on the cusp of the worst bleaching event in the history of the planet," he said.

These details have not previously been reported.
Triggered by heat stress, coral bleaching occurs when corals expel the colourful algae living in their tissues.
Without these helpful algae, the corals become pale and are vulnerable to starvation and disease.
Coral bleaching can be devastating for the ocean ecosystem, as well as fisheries and tourism-based economies that depend on healthy, colourful reefs to attract scuba divers and snorkellers.
A recent photo of the bleaching damage on the Great Barrier Reef
courtesy of Climate Council

Ominous signs

The last global mass coral bleaching event ran from 2014 to 2017, during which time the Great Barrier Reef lost nearly a third of its corals.
Preliminary results suggest that about 15% of the world's reefs saw large coral die-offs in this event.
This year is shaping up to be even worse as observations trickle in.
Following the Northern Hemisphere summer last year, the Caribbean registered its worst coral bleaching on record.

Now at the end of its summer, "the Southern Hemisphere is basically bleaching all over the place," Manzello said. 
"The entirety of the Great Barrier Reef is bleaching. We just had reports that American Samoa is bleaching."
Previous global bleaching events occurred in 2010 and 1998.
Coral bleaching is often tied to the naturally occurring El Nino climate phenomenon which leads to warmer ocean waters.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Opinion – Keep an eye on Djibouti

Djibouti's president has authorized Beijing to build a surveillance system, managed from Shanghai.
A veritable listening and spying center, aimed at the French, American, German and Japanese Western bases, which are all located within a handkerchief's reach.
According to satellite images, the gigantic Chinese base, most of which is underground, can already accommodate 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers.
With its airstrip, railroad and jetty designed for large-tonnage ships,
it is in reality "a platform for preparing for war".
From E-IR by
Here is a quiz for our times.
Think of a nation through the mouth of which passes 10–15 per cent of the world’s oil and commercial trade (20–25 per cent for Europe).
Also, the undersea cables that transmit data between three continents including nearly all internet access to some territories.
Besides being the life-giving conduit with 95% of goods to and from a giant landlocked neighbour.
Further visualise that nation marooned within a tempestuous region of perpetually-conflicted neighbours.
With piracy rampant along its 314 km waterfront.
Finally, consider the cheek-by-jowl military bases of eight great powers in a tiny territory of 23,000 square km.
This is Djibouti where, aeons ago, the earth split to create the Red Sea.
It is still at the centre of tectonic shifts, but of the geo-political type.
But this is not much talked about.
Is Djibouti the calm centre of the violent political storms buffeting our world, or will it become the epicentre of the next global war?

The question stems from Djibouti’s location overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait that connects the Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea and Mediterranean.
The economic security of the world’s most populous regions from China and India to Middle East, Horn of Africa, and Europe depend on free passage across this 28 km wide chokepoint.
It is a rough neighbourhood.
Across the water is the Houthi-dominated part of Yemen, torn by a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
And bordering Djibouti are totalitarian Eritrea, dysfunctional Somalia, and restive Ethiopia.
The longstanding conflicts within and across their borders are accompanied by massive human rights abuses, hunger, disease, and climate and environmental catastrophes.
As well as population dislocations: some 5 million refugees and 16 million displaced.

The troubles of the Horn of Africa cannot be kept bottled therein.
Perhaps why the French retained a military base in Djibouti after its independence in 1977.
The United States has its only African base there.
The Italian, Japanese, German, Spanish, Japanese and Saudi military are also present.
China opened its first overseas naval base in Djibouti as a critical hub in its ‘Belt and Road’ penetration of Africa.
Russia and India want to come too.

It appears that defenceless Djibouti welcomes all foreign militaries as a form of self-protection.
Who will threaten it, bristling as it is with the world’s most sophisticated armaments and best-trained soldiers?
Besides, renting out its unproductive real estate brings useful income.
Meanwhile, the foreign militaries are mutually deterred to keep peace while going about their normal business of spying on each other.
In that respect, is Djibouti playing a useful geo-political role, somewhat akin to Switzerland in the Second World War and Vienna in the Cold War?
Perhaps, but the Achilles Heel is Djibouti’s internal dynamics.

With a GDP of around US$3500 per capita, Djibouti is lower-middle income.
But a quarter of its 1.13 million population endure extreme poverty and a third are unemployed.
The country ranks a lowly 171st on the Human Development Index, reflecting its bad governance.
Nominally a multiparty system, the same president has ruled with a rod of iron since 1999 thanks to flawed or boycotted elections.
Classified by Freedom House as “not free”, Djibouti does not allow freedom of expression or association, not to mention fair judiciary or media freedom, ranking 162nd out of 180 on the World Press Freedom Index.

The US State Department has called out its arbitrary detentions under harsh and abusive conditions including torture and a climate of fear is perpetrated by Djibouti’s security forces.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index ranks Djibouti as the 130th most corrupt nation while neighbouring Somalia occupies the bottom 180th slot.
Djibouti’s location does double service as a criminal hub.
Lucrative human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation are systematically overlooked.
Irregular Somali and Ethiopian migrants are most impacted with transhipment to Yemen and on to Saudi Arabia.
Hostage taking for ransom is documented.

Djibouti is an arms trafficking hub with weaponry and munitions from Yemeni and Iranian sources fuelling all conflicts in the Horn and beyond.
Unsurprisingly, there is a parallel gold smuggling trade.
Tragically, endangered animals are not spared.
There is illicit trade in ivory, rhino horn, skins, as well as wild animals for exotic pet markets.
They originate, for example, from the Eritrean desert and transit through Djibouti where they are joined by nesting seabirds and marine turtles.

The country is a waypoint for illicit drugs, such as heroin and cannabis from Asia.
At the same time, Djibouti has its own addiction with khat, an amphetamine-like stimulant that wastes 40% of household budgets with devastating health, social, and productivity consequences.
Banned in most developed countries but not in Djibouti, khat contributes 15% of the government budget with trading cartels seeding corruption along the way.
Djibouti’s khat economy invites comparisons with Afghanistan’s poppy business or Latin America’s narco-trade.
This is just one of several channels for Illicit financial transactions, as anti-money laundering regulations are not implemented.

The Organised Crime Index indicates how multiple criminal networks are comfortable on Djibouti, their impunity apparently linked to profit-sharing Djiboutian actors.
Ironically, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional grouping for good governance, peace and prosperity is headquartered in Djibouti but has little influence.
Djiboutian plunder comes in various forms.
Take stewardship of Lake Assal that provides gourmet-quality “white gold”.
Chinese companies have extracted opaque concessions to exploit six million tons of salt.
The industrial commodification of a millennia-old livelihood resource does little for locals while adding to Djibouti’s external debt of over 3 billion dollars, nearly half of which is held by China.

Corruption is bringing Djibouti to its knees as it struggles to service its mushrooming debts.
That risks its biggest money-spinner, its strategic port and free trade zone.
These were Chinese financed, and are now Chinese-managed, after the Djibouti government abruptly nationalised it and terminated its management contract with the Dubai-based shipping giant DP World.
The legality of that is disputed as also whether such nationalisation serves the Djiboutian public interest.
DP World has won rulings in courts in London and Hong Kong against being muscled out by Djibouti and its Chinese collaborator under highly dubious circumstances.
But there is no restitution and billions of dollars are at stake.

Meanwhile, an independent assessment by specialist Pangea-Risk Insight highlights rampant corruption “at the highest echelons of the port’s administration” and alleges “exploiting financial institutions” for money laundering, frauds and illicit fund diversions.
There are close parallels with the Chinese financing of Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka that corrupted the country’s politics and bankrupted its government – leading to China taking over port ownership.

Will Djibouti Port go the same way?
If that happens, what will that mean for Djibouti’s strategic open hub status.

With Djibouti’s fragile rule-of law corroded by astounding magnitudes of corrupt plunder, what is the impact on the security of the state?
As France knows from its experiences of several ex-colonies in Sub-Saharan Africa, corrupt and authoritarian governance eventually implodes.
The Western militaries also discovered that their military strength could not stop their expulsion from the Sahel.
The consequent instability including potentially resurgent terrorism has already rippled across the African continent and threatens wider consequences in our globalised world.
Djibouti other international bases with the GeoGarage platform (SHOM nautical raster chart)

The world’s most powerful militaries camped in Djibouti cannot be unaware of distress signals emanating around them.
Their governments are distracted by more pressing wars in the Middle East and Europe, and rising tensions in the Pacific.
But they would be rash to ignore Djibouti – for the same reason that took them there in the first place.
Djibouti’s dangerous downward slide has serious consequences for stability, far beyond its own tiny footprint on the planet.
Our common interest suggests that it should not be a place for destructive rivalry or greedy exploitation from within or by outsiders.
Djibouti needs the international community to come together to help it become a decent, democratic, developed nation.
It will be a win-win if Djibouti is properly enabled to fulfil its geographical destiny as the connection to all corners.
But only if it can always stay the calm centre of gathering global storms.
That cannot be taken for granted. 
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Monday, March 11, 2024

Looking at the world horizontally and vertically, what's the big difference? ——Interview with Hao Xiaoguang, the compiler of the vertical world map

 From Tellereport by Sun Zifa

More than 400 years ago, the Italian missionary Matteo Ricci drew the "Kunyu World Map" centered on China.
The traditional horizontal version of the world map has been "rampant" for more than 400 years, and it has imprinted the public's perception of world geography.
Twenty years ago, Chinese scholar Hao Xiaoguang began to study and compile a vertical version of the world map, aiming to more clearly describe the geographic relationship between the northern and southern hemispheres and the world based on the traditional horizontal version highlighting the world map of the eastern and western hemispheres.
After more than 10 years of hard work, he innovatively compiled a vertical version of the world map in 2013 "turned out."
Looking at the world horizontally and vertically, what's the big difference? 
Researcher Hao Xiaoguang of the Institute of Precision Measurement Science and Technology Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently accepted an exclusive interview with a reporter from China News Agency to elaborate on his indissoluble bond with the vertical world map.
Why compile a vertical world map? 
Hao Xiaoguang introduced that the traditional horizontal map of the world that people are accustomed to was originally drawn by the Italian missionary Matteo Ricci in 1584.
"Although this version is suitable for expressing the geographical relationship between the eastern and western hemispheres, the disadvantage is that the deformation of the northern and southern hemispheres is relatively large and the relationship with the peripheral regions is not clear."
For example, on a horizontal map, Antarctica shows 3.8 times the area of Australia.
Moreover, Antarctica seems to have a parallel relationship with the three continents of South America, Africa, and Australia.
But on the vertical map, Antarctica is only 1.8 times the area of Australia, and it is surrounded by three contine 
Horizontal World Map (Eastern Hemisphere Edition)
(Edited by Hao Xiaoguang, published by Hunan Map Publishing House in 2014)
Visual errors like this are not only easy to cause misunderstandings among the general public, but also some professional fields are also affected.
 Hao Xiaoguang believes that if the world map has an east-west hemisphere version, it should have a north-south hemisphere version, otherwise it will be difficult to fully show the face of the earth.
His research and compilation of vertical world maps is to make the facts hidden by traditional world maps obvious, and at the same time use multiple and multi-angle methods to fully show the geographic relationship between China and the world.
 The Chinese word for China fuses two characters, 中 (zhōng) meaning middle or central, and 国 (guó) meaning kingdom or country.
Together, these characters form 中国: Middle Kingdom.
The maps of China and, no doubt, much of its sense of history and place in the world can be deduced from these two characters.
courtesy of CLI
Is the globe not obvious enough? 
With a globe, why bother to draw a flat world map?
This is the question that Hao Xiaoguang has faced the most.
He said: "The globe can accurately grasp the world, but it is not at a glance, because no matter from which angle you look at the past, you can only see half of the earth."
The traditional horizontal version of the world map, whether the Asia-Pacific version centered on the Pacific Ocean or the European and American version centered on the Atlantic Ocean, belongs to the "Warp World Map", which is suitable for expressing the geographic relationship between the eastern and western hemispheres.
Hao Xiaoguang pointed out that “the projection method of dividing the globe by the meridian is like cutting an apple longitudinally and flattening it.
It will inevitably cause deformation of the north and south poles and blur the relationship with the surrounding areas.”

Therefore, it is not only necessary but also necessary to compile a vertical map that can accurately and clearly express the geographical relationship between the northern and southern hemispheres, solve the problem of deformation of the north and south poles, and be acceptable to most countries and people.

Horizontal Map of the World (Western Hemisphere Edition)
(edited by Hao Xiaoguang, published by Hunan Map Publishing House in 2014)

How to compile a vertical world map?
After more than 10 years of exploration and research, Hao Xiaoguang proposed a "double warp and double latitude" design plan for the compilation of the "series of world maps". 
One set consists of four editions, including the traditional horizontal version of the eastern hemisphere (Asia-Pacific version) and the western hemisphere version (European and American version). 
"Warp World Map", he creatively compiled the vertical northern hemisphere version and southern hemisphere version as the "latitude world map".

"Just like a set of clothes and pants is different and symmetrical, it can fully dress up a person. The earth should also be described by combining four maps of east, west, north and south to form a combination that meets the standards of truth and beauty." Hao Xiaoguang said.
In Hao Xiaoguang’s eyes, the four horizontal and vertical maps constitute the “family portrait” of the earth, which fully demonstrates the geographical relationship between the countries in the east, west, north and south, and between the ocean and the land, with the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Arctic Ocean as the center.
The way of thinking out of the center of the ocean.

Vertical World Map (Northern Hemisphere Edition) 
(edited by Hao Xiaoguang, published by Hunan Map Publishing House in 2014)

In contrast to the horizontal version of "cutting" the warp, the vertical version of the northern and southern hemispheres is the "cutting" through the latitude.
"Theoretically, there are countless ways to'cut' the earth, and countless maps of the world can be drawn, but it is not easy to find the'perfect cutting line' and be accepted by all parts of the world."

Hao Xiaoguang pointed out that a universally accepted map of the world should not cut a certain continent or a certain country as much as possible, and ensure the integrity of the time zone.
After continuous research and trial and error, Hao Xiaoguang finally found the "perfect cutting line" in his mind-on the northern hemisphere version, the earth was "cut" along 60 degrees south latitude, and on the southern hemisphere version, this tangent line It is 15 degrees north latitude.

The two vertical world maps drawn in this way do not cut continents at all.
In particular, the 15-degree north latitude tangent line passes through almost the narrowest point between North and South America, fully retaining the morphology of the North and South America continent.
In the vertical version of the Northern Hemisphere map, the Arctic Ocean, which was originally on the edge of the world map, is surrounded by Canada, the United States, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and other countries.
It is like a large "Mediterranean Sea" and its geographic location is extremely important.

Hao Xiaoguang said that on the four horizontal and vertical maps, every continent, continent, and country in the world, no matter how big or small, is fully presented, which is equivalent to "the first time that all members of the land on the surface of the earth have taken a family portrait.
"Standard photo".

Vertical World Map (Southern Hemisphere Edition)
(edited by Hao Xiaoguang, published by Hunan Map Publishing House in 2014)

What are the advantages of the vertical world map?

In Hao Xiaoguang's view, the biggest advantage of the vertical version of the world map is that it overcomes the defect that traditional horizontal version maps are not suitable for expressing the geographical relationship between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Specifically, 2/3 of the land in the world is in the northern hemisphere, and 4/5 of the countries are in the northern hemisphere.
The vertical map makes the geography of the northern and southern hemispheres more clearly expressed, has a more thorough understanding of land and countries, and can better promote inter-state Exchanges.

Airplane routes are generally land-to-land and country-to-country.
In the northern hemisphere, which occupies 2/3 of the land and 4/5 of the world, the advantages of the vertical map are even more obvious.

For example, Hao Xiaoguang said that from Beijing, China to New York, the range of the Arctic Ocean route using the vertical map is about 11,000 kilometers, while the Pacific route through the traditional horizontal map is about 19,000 kilometers.
The difference between the two is 8,000 kilometers, and the one-way flight time is greatly shortened.

On the vertical map of the northern hemisphere, the Arctic Ocean has become the shortest air route connecting Asia, Europe, and North America.

In addition, on the vertical map of the northern hemisphere, the Arctic Ocean becomes the center and is surrounded by North America and Eurasian continents.

Undoubtedly, this can more intuitively reflect the formation and development of the "Ice Silk Road", and it will surely promote and serve the construction and cooperation of the "Ice Silk Road" more effectively in the countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean.

In response to the saying that "the vertical version of the world map seems to narrow the distance between China and the United States", Hao Xiaoguang emphasized that it is the vertical version of the world map that subverts people's customary thinking mode of horizontal maps, and presents the true relationship of world geography from a new perspective.

Coming out, the north-south crossing of the Arctic Ocean is actually the closer route between China and the United States, much closer than the traditional east-west crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
Hao Xiaoguang also recalled that at a design seminar on the second-generation Beidou satellite navigation system many years ago, he proposed "the United States in the north of China" and corrected the design plan based on the horizontal world map, so that the demand for the Arctic Ocean direction was caught in the eyes of the designer.

The relevant Chinese authorities promptly adopted his opinions and re-planned the design scheme of the second-generation Beidou satellite navigation system.
It is understood that it is precisely because of the outstanding advantages of the vertical world map that Hao Xiaoguang's newly edited "Series of World Maps" obtained internal applications in professional fields such as aerospace and scientific investigation before obtaining the "birth certificate", and was widely praised.

Among them, according to the vertical version of the northern hemisphere world map, the Beidou system revised the coverage of the Beidou satellite; the China Polar Research Center used the vertical version of the southern hemisphere world map as an indication map in 2004 to carry out the 21st Antarctic scientific expedition ocean voyage.

"Made in China" vertical world map (edited by Hao Xiaoguang, published by Hunan Map Publishing House in 2014)

How do the horizontal and vertical versions of the map complement each other?

Since the vertical version of the world map has outstanding advantages, will it replace the traditional horizontal version of the world map?

"(The vertical version replaces the horizontal version) That is incredible. It is not a vertical version. The horizontal version will not work. It is threatened. The two complement each other, each has its own strengths and complementary advantages." Hao Xiaoguang said,
The horizontal version of the world map, which has a history of more than 400 years, expresses the geography of the eastern and western hemispheres very well, but the geographic expression of the northern and southern hemispheres has major defects.

Similarly, the vertical version of the map shows a good geographical expression in the northern and southern hemispheres, but not in the eastern and western hemispheres.

Generalized Equip-Difference Parallel Polyconical
 Projection Method for the Global Map
He said that from the perspective of application, the horizontal and vertical versions of the world map have more advantages on land and air routes, while the horizontal version is more advantageous for ocean and maritime navigation, and clearly reflects the complementary effects of the two.

He also added that in the past, because of the influence of the traditional horizontal version of the eastern and western hemisphere world map, most people had a prominent understanding of the Pacific Rim and the Atlantic Rim, but they did not know enough about the Arctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

After the vertical version of the northern and southern hemisphere world map was compiled and launched, in addition to the land expression is very good, there is also an emphasis on the Arctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, thus making up for the shortcomings of the traditional world map.
"From the vertical map of the northern hemisphere, we can see that 2/3 of the land and 4/5 of the countries surround the Arctic Ocean. Except for China and the United States, the positional relationship between China and other countries has also changed greatly, which can better show the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind."
Hao Xiaoguang Said that the two high-profile countries of China and the United States across the Arctic Ocean and are closer together, it should be like the horizontal and vertical versions of the world map that complement each other's advantages and strengthen exchanges and cooperation for a win-win situation.

A vertical world map created by researcher Hao Xiaoguang of the Institute of Precision Measurement Science and Technology Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and him.

In February 2021, 8 years after the vertical version of the world map compiled by Hao Xiaoguang was officially published, American scholars used the new double-sided projection technology to draw a similar map. 
They also used the latitude division method to divide the earth in half to obtain a double-sided circle. .

"The US version of the vertical version of the world map is the same as ours, obviously it is the northern and southern hemispheres, but it is seven or eight years later than the Chinese version." 
He said.
"The revolution of the map means the rediscovery and re-understanding of world geography. A good world map can cultivate a more comprehensive world view, stimulate people's imagination of the world, and give birth to the desire to explore the world."
Hao Xiaoguang said, at present, He is planning to let the new "Series of World Maps" with the innovative features of the vertical world map enter the school and textbooks, to display the three-dimensional earth most comprehensively on the plane, so that the "other face" of the world can better serve Accepted and known by the world.

Hao Xiaoguang believes that although the vertical version of the world map that has subverted hundreds of years of traditional cognition has been published and widely used in the industry, there is still a long way to go before it is accepted by the public.
Looking at the concept of the northern and southern hemispheres, it may take a long time.
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