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NYK Receives Expression of Gratitude from JAMSTEC for Decade of Participation in the Global Argo Program

NYK has received an expression of gratitude from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) (President: Dr. Tadashi Matsunaga) for the company’s cooperation with the deployment and operation of Argo floats* in support of the global Argo project. *

NYK is highly valued for its cooperation with the Argo program and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations for the company’s continuous cooperation with the deployment and operation of Argo floats over the past decade. NYK and JAMSTEC initially signed an agreement on November 19, 2010, to cooperate in the deployment of these Argo floats, which are essential for global oceanographic observations.

JAMSTEC operates about 200 of the 4,000 Argo floats that are in continuous operation in oceans and seas around the world, and has taken responsibility for replacement of about 40 to 100 of these floats every year.

NYK is cooperating with JAMSTEC by deploying Argo floats in Pacific Ocean areas where access is difficult for government ships and coverage density is lower. Specifically, NYK has deployed Argo floats for the past 10 years at the request of JAMSTEC from ships sailing in certain sea areas. Because of NYK’s assistance, higher density coverage can be obtained from these sea areas.

Data from Argo floats is used by scientists in research worldwide and results are used to determine policies such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and countermeasures against climate change in each country through the IPCC.*** These days, the results are also applied to climate change related to El Nino and the improvement of weather forecast accuracy.

NYK will continue to deploy the Algo floats in areas where access is difficult for government ships by making use of the company’s extensive number of ships and sailing routes.

In accordance with the NYK Group’s medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green,” the company has indicated its goal to integrate ESG principles into management strategies to implement green business initiatives and has been dedicated to achieving the SDGs through the group’s business activities. Deploying Argo floats is also one of those business activities.

*Argo float
A robotic instrument that measures the sea temperature and salinity while drifting with ocean currents at depths up to 2,000 meters below the sea surface. These devices provide the Argo project with data that is analyzed to predict ocean currents and used for the study of climate change, global warming, fisheries, and shipping.

** Argo program
An international science project that started in 2000 to develop a system to monitor and grasp the ocean condition all over the world in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and about 30 countries, regions, and related organizations. The first target of this project was to install and operate about 3,000 Argo floats. Today, about 4,000 Argo floats are in operation around the world. Those Argo floats make it possible to obtain ocean data spanning about 300 square kilometers (3 degrees in latitude and longitude) in real time.

*** Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
An organization established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. The organization’s fifth assessment report was release in 2014, and a sixth assessment is scheduled to be released in April 2022.

Some of the scientific findings from the Argo float data reported in the fifth assessment report in 2014 are provided below.

・On a global scale, ocean warming is largest near the surface, and the upper 75 meters warmed by 0.11 [0.09 to 0.13] °C per decade over the period of 1971 to 2010.

・More than 60% of the net energy increase in the climate system was stored in the upper ocean (0–700 meters) during the relatively well-sampled 40-year period from 1971 to 2010, and about 30% was stored in the ocean below 700 meters.

・It is very likely that regions of high salinity where evaporation dominates have become more saline, while regions of low salinity where precipitation dominates have become fresher since the 1950s.

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About Argo program (Japan Argo by JAMSTEC)

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