Russia is wasting no time up North as maritime activity expands in the Arctic. The only country in the world currently building nuclear icebreakers has announced plans to build a $1 billion+ ship that will be capable of breaking ice thicker than 4 meters in the Arctic all year long.
The ship is to be the first of the “LK-60 class” and will obtain the highest ice class rating possible in addition to taking the title of world’s largest icebreaker at 173 meters long, 34 meters wide.
For more, visit the Arctic Journal
Should be interesting as we watch this system play out. They are expecting 40 ft. seas out of this one as it intensifies.
Synopsis…A 986 MB LOW NEAR 56N 169W WILL MOVE TO 57N 158W AT 992 MB MON MORNING AND THEN BE ABSORBED INTO A LOW IN THE NORTHERN GULF MON AFTERNOON. A 982 MB LOW NEAR 45N 165E MON AFTERNOON WILL RAPIDLY STRENGTHEN TO 953 MB NEAR 52N 174E TUE AFTERNOON.
Several articles surfaced this week revealing the existence two unique but similar barges under construction in San Francisco and Portland, ME. Both postings provide various clues and indications that Google is behind whatever it is these barges are engaged in or will be engaged in. I would venture to guess these may be more experimental, as the barges and the structures still seem somewhat limited compared to some of the massive data centers already in existence on land, or perhaps they are destined for remote undeveloped areas of the world. It will be interesting to see how floating data centers cope with normal marine issues like drydocking, fuel transfers, and other repairs.
The media seems fairly certain these are linked to Google, although I am not seeing the direct links other than a phone number that led to an old Google extension. At first glance their appearance is more of an accommodation barge or even some type of prison or jail due to the minimal windows. Floating prisons are not uncommon in the U.S; in fact New York has several, including an 800 bed floating jail. The barges pictured also do not seem to have any significant signs of combustion engines, which means the barges are likely to be utilizing power from something else, shoreside or afloat.
For the Portland, ME barge (BAL 0011)- read more here and here.
For the San Francisco barge(s) (BAL 0010 & BAL 0001) – read more here
Photo by Flickr/simplebitsday
Ok…I’d like to set forth the facts that seem to be somewhat missing this week following the recent announcement from NOAA that they will cease printing paper charts.
Fact: NOAA will no longer print paper charts and sell them in the printed format via local agents or retailers.
Fact: NOAA has clearly made the decision to exit the printing business.
Fact: NOAA produced charts will continue to be printed and sold by commercial entities.
Fact: Paper nautical charts will continue to exist since everyone will still be able to buy a paper chart that is up-to-date and drafted by NOAA.
Fact: Paper nautical charts will be printed by “print-on-demand” retailers, and will actually be more accurate since they reflect all current Local Notice to Mariners and Chart Updates
Fact: A majority of non-government chart users have already switched to print-on-demand charts anyways, so many will see absolutely no change.
So…is it really a sad day? Not really….
For more, be sure to read the FAQ by NOAA on the topic.