Since 2006, Swire has provided over £400,000 to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) to create the SWIRE NOCS Ocean Monitoring Project (SNOMS), an innovative programme that is yielding important information about the oceans and global climate change.
The funding from SWIRE for the SNOMS project is enabling academics at NOCS to design and assemble a system to measure the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolved in surface waters of the ocean. Over the years, the company and its philanthropic trusts have made additional investments of £300,000 to expand the programme to include support for new equipment, scientific analysis of the data and enhanced communication to publicise the scientific findings. The gifts also include support for a four-year PhD studentship in partnership with the University of Xiamen in China. The Swire PhD student will play a key role in analysing and interpreting the SNOMS data.
By utilising ocean-monitoring equipment installed on Swire’s cargo ship the MV Pacific Celebes, NOCS scientists have been able to capture data about remote areas of the globe where the oceans’ interaction with the atmosphere is largely unknown. The SNOMS project is helping to fill in important gaps in our knowledge about the oceans and long term, the data will enable scientists to paint a larger picture about the role of the oceans, particularly their role in global climate change.
The Swire Group has long taken a proactive stance on climate change issues, both in terms of measuring and attempting to mitigate the group’s own carbon footprint, as well as its international efforts to support initiatives such as the SNOMS project that aim to understand and address global climate change.
It is evident that cyclical changes in the oceans are occurring on time scales from seconds to decades. Only by monitoring in the oceans in a consistent way can we determine the true rate of change. Equally importantly, we need to make measurements over large areas of the Oceans which have never or rarely been visited by a research ship. This is why the support received from the Swire Group is so important in helping our academics to gather data on how the oceans are both responding to and controlling climate change.