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Oceanography: Shipping

Year 10 Elective Geography




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Sub-standard ships and poor shipping practices are leading to massive marine pollution and damage.

The Conversation

A shipping industry summit is looking into how it can reduce its share of global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. But a lack of low carbon technologies is not the problem.

Transport and the Environment

At current growth rates, shipping could represent some 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Which measures could reduce its contribution to climate change?


How international shipping engages government and stakeholders to ensure that shipping is environmentally responsible.

Cargo shipping drives global trade - but at a steep environmental cost, generating three percent of global CO2 emissions. It may not seem like a lot, but if shipping were a country it would be the world’s sixth-largest greenhouse gas emitter. Most of the world's ships run on cheap, dirty fuel. With new regulations aiming to clean up maritime pollution, ship owners are scrambling to find innovative solutions. In this episode the Down to Earth team steps on board the Moscow Maersk, one of the world’s largest cargo ships, to understand how the industry can go green. Gas, filters and renewable energy are some of the technologies being considered. But as the industry sets sail for a cleaner future, it faces a dilemma: switch fuel, or find a way to clean the bunker fuel?

Companies and universities are working together to develop automated cargo ships. The Wall Street Journal looks at Rolls-Royce’s concepts for the next revolution in maritime transport.

The merchant shipping industry releases 2.2% of the world’s carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, and the International Maritime Organization estimates that could increase up to 250% by 2050 if no action is taken. Finnish company Norsepower may have a solution in the spinning cylinders they’ve designed for ships to harness wind power and produce forward thrust. The result is a ship that needs less fuel to travel the seas - a major boost to the industry that transports 90% of international trade.

VICE News took a ride on the Estraden, a cargo ship fitted with Norsepower Rotor Sails, to see the technology that can reduce a ship’s carbon emissions by 1000 tons per year. If all 50,000 merchant ships adopted Norsepower Rotor Sails, the costs saved on fuel would be over $7 billion a year, and the emissions prevented would equal more than 12 coal fired power plants.

Australian Government

Australia is the fifth largest user of shipping in the world with more than 11,000 vessels from 600 overseas ports visiting Australia's 65 major ports each year. About 98 per cent of Australia's exports (in particular, bulk mineral and agricultural commodities) are carried by ships.

Finacial Times

New rules aim to reduce sulphur emissions from one of the world’s most polluting sectors but higher fuel prices are likely.


Over 90 percent of world trade is carried across the world’s oceans by some 90,000 marine vessels. Like all modes of transportation that use fossil fuels, ships produce carbon dioxide emissions that significantly contribute to global climate change and acidification.

Marine Insight

Shipping industry, which is wholly accountable for the marine and cargo transportation, is one of the potent sources for pollution at sea. With over 70% water covering our planet, marine industry is booming each passing day.

YALE Environment 360

As the world moves to slash CO2 emissions, the shipping and aviation sectors have managed to remain on the sidelines. But the pressure is now on these two major polluting industries to start controlling their emissions at last.