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Scientists Confirm that Somali Pirates Are On Holiday Now, Too

Danger Room journalist Richard Wheeler reports that the world may see a brief respite from costly, often lethal Somali piracy as we head into the summer months. The evidence is in a joint New Zealand–Australian study, Climatic controls on piracy in the Horn of Africa Region, 2010—2011. Unlike previous reporting, which proposed that both summer [...]

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Royal Navy and Royal Marines troops board a suspected pirate vessel. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence/ LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins

Danger Room journalist Richard Wheeler reports that the world may see a brief respite from costly, often lethal Somali piracy as we head into the summer months. The evidence is in a joint New Zealand–Australian study, Climatic controls on piracy in the Horn of Africa Region, 2010—2011.

Unlike previous reporting, which proposed that both summer and winter monsoons reduced pirate attacks, Climate Controls on Piracy finds that only the summer monsoon has a measurable effect on attacks… The researchers found that while waves and wind during the winter monsoon was roughly twice that of non-monsoon months, this was not enough to deter pirates from operating in the Indian Ocean.

Which means that now, when the pirates are mostly back on land, could be a choice time for military incursions into Somalia.

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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