The Atlantic Sail is one of ACL’s G4 combination container/roll-on roll-off vessels. It was named as an official INTEGRATED CARBON OBSERVATION SYSTEM NETWORK Station (ICOS). The ICOS stations are coordinated and run by the ICOS National Networks in 14 member countries. These stations operate in three distinct domains: Atmosphere, Ecosystem and Ocean.

For almost two decades, ACL has been a collaborator with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, a leading research institute in the field of marine sciences located in Kiel, Germany. GEOMAR investigates the chemical, physical, biological and geological processes of the seafloor, oceans and ocean margins and their interactions with the atmosphere. GEOMAR enlisted ACL to participate in their ocean project. ACL’s crew on the Atlantic Sail carries out autonomous measurements of seawater temperature, salinity, and dissolved CO2. This data is used to study the inter- and intra-annual variability of the Ocean’s CO2 uptake from the atmosphere. The measurements are made by a global network of vessels, which have joined voluntarily to execute this program. This data contributes to the annual “Global Carbon Budget” which, in turn, forms the basis for the assessment reports of the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” This work is supported by the International Ocean Carbon Coordination) (IOCCP) under the framework of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

ACL’s weekly transatlantic service calls at ports in Europe and North America. ACL’s trade route was of high interest to GEOMAR because the North Atlantic is known to be one of the strongest sinks for atmospheric CO2. ACL’s vessels operate along a stable cruise track over a long span of years, so they became the ideal vessels to use.

ACL has always led the way with tangible actions to protect the environment. ACL was one of the first carriers to install an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System on its entire fleet. ACL vessels have been used by the German Meteorological Service to launch weather balloons for forecasting and climate analysis in Europe. Most recently, ACL helped the United Kingdom’s Marine Biological Association Continuous Planktons Recorder Survey to study the health of marine plankton in the ocean. Andrew J. Abbott, President, commented on the latest steps taken by the company, “ACL and our parent company, the Grimaldi Group, are committed to being a leader on developing environmentally friendly transportation. We try to help organizations that are researching the issue and trying to come up with practical solutions to the problems. ACL’s people are concerned global citizens who want to make the world a better place for the generations that follow us.”