A study of ancient DNA has shed light on the epic journeys that led to the settlement of the Pacific by humans. Two different studies tracked changes over time in the genetic make-up of people inhabiting Vanuatu - regarded as a gateway to the rest of the Pacific. The first people to arrive in the islands belonged to the Lapita culture, who expanded out of Taiwan between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, reaching Vanuatu about 3,000 years ago. "They were really talented seafaring people," said Dr Cosimo Posth, from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. Their secret was the specialised outrigger canoe, which is characterised by the addition of lateral support floats which stabilise the main hull. This innovation, says Dr Posth, "allowed them to cover immense distances of the ocean".
The use of LNG is looking like a very expensive red herring that could distract much of the shipping industry in the coming years
The article by leading expert Dr Tristan Smith is generating robust debate
A new partnership between Eco Marine Power (EMP) and the Japanese ship owner Hisafuku Kisen K.K. of Onomichi will test the world’s first integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships.
Almost every Christmas gift you gave or received two months ago was transported vast distances across the ocean, spending weeks inside a shipping container. What powers these epic journeys across the globe? Unfortunately, it’s not reindeers. It’s the black, sludgy dregs of the refining process known as heavy fuel oil. Each tonne, when burned, releases several thousand times the amount of sulphur and tiny lung-damaging particles that petrol or diesel cars do, while also contributing to dangerous climate change.