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ESA helps faster cleaner shipping

13 April 2017

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With around 90% of world trade carried by ships, making sure a vessel follows the fastest route has clear economic benefits. By merging measurements from different satellites, ESA is providing key information on ocean currents, which is not only making shipping more efficient but is also helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Shipping companies forecast ocean currents down to a depth of about 15 m to route their vessels through favourable currents and avoid those that might hinder a voyage.

Reliable forecasts are essential for making sure that goods arrive on time and that ships use as little fuel as possible. The problem is that forecasts might not always be accurate.

Combining satellite measurements such as sea-surface height and temperature, surface winds and gravity, along with measurements taken in situ, can yield a unique view of ocean-surface circulation.

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