Some researchers are trying to find a way to let ships ride bubbles through the water. Ships built in the future my have a specially built hull that releases tiny bubbles using an air pump to provide less friction than water.
The New Scientist article goes into the technical challenges of designing what they call a slippery ship and the positive impact that these ships can have on the environment.
“A craft that has less friction as it slides through the water will be far more efficient than standard ships. Slippery ships could travel across the sea much faster or carry a bigger load on the same amount of fuel, saving money and reducing pollution. This is crucial, considering that in 2003 more than 90 per cent of all goods that were sent around the globe went by ship – that’s more than 6 billion tonnes, and the figure is set to increase.”