RCCL’s Explorer of the Seas Assists in Hurricane Tracking

Monday, July 21, 2003
Explorer of the Seas, which is reportedly the world's only cruise ship equipped with state-of-the-art ocean and atmospheric science laboratories, continues to make important contributions of meteorological data to assist the National Hurricane Center. The 142,000-ton Royal Caribbean International ship recently provided the NHC with valuable 15-minute updates of surface winds on Hurricane Claudette as it grew from a tropical storm. The data was mentioned by NHC as a factor in locating the center of Claudette as it interacted with the Yucatan Peninsula. In readings taken east of Cozumel early on July 11, Explorer of the Seas recorded 50-knot surface winds when reconnaissance planes were unable to get a more reliable indicator that flight-level winds of 40 knots. During the 2001 and 2002 hurricane seasons, data from Explorer of the Seas was used in forecasting for Hurricane Michelle and Hurricane Isidore. Royal Caribbean's innovative, oceangoing research labs are operated by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, which has provided permanent technicians on two-week rotations. The labs, directed by Dr. Otis Brown, dean of the Rosenstiel school, have been collecting data since the maiden voyage of Explorer of the Seas October 28, 2000. Each weekly voyage adds invaluable information on the variability of strong currents like the Gulf Stream, the distribution of chlorophyll, and seasonal changes in wind patterns and cloud cover that contribute to changing climate, and measurements that contribute to greater accuracy in satellite imagery. "The data set is the longest and most extensive continuous shipboard measurements available in the Caribbean Sea," says Liz Williams, program manager for the Rosenstiel labs. "These labs monitor the ocean and atmosphere as the ship cruises through the Caribbean at an average of 20 knots," she explains, "and provide more than 400 reports a month to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is more than any other vessel in the U.S. Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program." VOS was organized for obtaining weather and oceanographic observations from moving ships, and some 1,600 vessels transmit data to the National Weather Service. Never is a Royal Caribbean ship in harm's way because wind fields of tropical storms are typically very large. Because there is always a lab technician aboard Explorer of the Seas, the data quality is constantly monitored. The ocean lab provides scientists with data on sea surface temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, and ocean currents under the ship to 1,000 meters below the hull. This year, a new instrument has measured PCO 2, which is important in predicting the ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide, a gas associated with global warming. The atmospheric lab provides a weekly view of the winds, cloud cover, precipitation and particle counts, which, at times, includes data on the African dust clouds that travel across the Atlantic to Florida. In addition to research activities on Explorer of the Seas, each week a scientist is available to give tours of the labs and a lecture on current research in their field. Laboratory space can be made available to any scientist interested in marine or atmospheric studies in the Caribbean.
Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Cruise Ship Trends

Orlando Ashford is President, Holland America Line

Holland America Line announced today that effective Dec. 1 Orlando Ashford will join the company as president to lead the award-winning cruise line's brand and business,

Sustainability Report: Carnival Ahead of Emissions Goal

Carnival Corporation & plc released a report today detailing its sustainability efforts, including initiatives which enabled the company to meet its corporate goal

Meyer Turku Building another Ship for TUI Cruises

Meyer Turku Oy celebrated the start of production of cruise ship Mein Schiff 5 on November 18, 2014, as the cutting machine was started by Mike Schwanke, Marketing

Environmental

Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi,

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2004 sec (5 req/sec)