For those who don’t wake up every morning with an ocean view, the ocean is often an out of sight, out of mind resource. With 70% of the earth’s surface covered by oceans, World Oceans Day is a good reminder that the oceans play a bigger role in our lives than we often realise. From regulating the climate to providing a source of food and transporting goods, oceans provide countless benefits. They can also create challenges for coastal communities and businesses.

For coastal mega-cities and offshore businesses, rising sea levels and increasing wave heights create new risks. Many are now taking steps to determine their vulnerabilities and develop engineering solutions to become more resilient.

  • A lost day of oil rig drilling from severe weather can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra costs.
  • Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predict a 45% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in 2017.
  • Scientists predict most coastal communities will experience 30 days of tidal flooding annually by 2050.

Can future sea level and wave trends be predicted?
Recent advances in modelling and computing coupled with an evolving understanding of our climate system have made it possible to better quantify this uncertainty and harness it in ways that allow businesses to better understand their exposure to risk. Businesses can incorporate climate projections with a range of uncertainty to better plan for disruptions and gain a competitive edge. Investments made today will pay off in the years to come.

Our Met-Ocean Services team assesses and identifies risks associated with the effects of visibility, wind, sea state, sea-ice and icebergs to improve the safety and efficiency of our customers’ facilities and operations.

  • Severe wave warnings for waves exceeding more than six meters help offshore customers save money and time and, more importantly, lives.
  • Physical oceanography services, including tsunami, seiche, and storm surge modelling helps organisations and communities better plan for extreme weather events.
  • Insurance companies can more accurately anticipate sea and weather changes that can result in millions of dollars in claims.

While we can’t control the powerful oceans, with the help of resiliency planning, we can improve how organisations plan and respond to ocean changes.

Amec Foster Wheeler offices globally have been participating in International Coastal Clean-up since 2006. In that time employees have helped to remove almost 19,500lbs (8,845kg) - ironically, the weight of a garbage truck - of trash, litter and other debris from the world’s shorelines and coastal areas, playing a small part in conserving this great asset.

World Oceans Day is a reminder of the beauty of our seas and the importance they play in our lives. We should all do our part to help conserve this amazing resource that impacts all of us in ways we might never realise.