Researchers Question Ship Sulfur Emission Numbers

Friday, August 20, 1999
Researchers last week claimed that sulfur emissions from cargo ships are causing ocean and coastal pollution and affecting scientific understanding of global climate change. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and Duke University in North Carolina said in a letter to the science journal Nature that ships are spewing more sulfur from their funnels than previously suspected which could be an important factor in solving the puzzle of global warming. "You've got to consider ships explicitly if you are going to understand ocean chemistry which is a foundation for understanding atmospheric chemistry and climate change," said James Corbett, an engineer at Carnegie Mellon. In some coastal regions ships also have a significant impact on air quality, he added. Regional sulfur emissions contribute to acid rain, which can pollute bodies of water. Emissions from ships are also involved in the formation of clouds over the oceans. "Sulfur emissions have a large role in the formation of aerosols (tiny particles) on which water condenses to form clouds," said Spyros Pandis, who contributed to the study. "The interactions of aerosols and clouds have been identified as one of the most important uncertainties in understanding the rate of climate change, or global warming, because clouds reflect energy and thereby reduce the net warming effect of long-lived greenhouse gases," he said. The effect of aerosols has been difficult to quantify because they have a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than greenhouse gases. The researchers also showed that the emissions from ships were most evident in oceans in the Northern Hemisphere where heavy shipping occurs. Most oceans in the Southern Hemisphere, apart from the area surrounding Australia, are unaffected. Coastal cities receive the brunt of sulfur pollution from ships. In a commentary on the research in Nature, Barry Huebert, of the University of Hawaii, said the study provides the first good argument for reducing sulfur pollution from shipping. "It is not very comforting to know that our waste is affecting an ever larger region. It is comforting, though, to see that the tools for making these assessments are getting sharper," he said.
Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Marine Propulsion

MARAD Backs Emissions Reduction Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced it will provide more than $1 million to support the development of two new emission-reducing maritime solutions.

Rolls-Royce to Cut More Staff of Marine Unit

Britain's Rolls-Royce said it would cut an additional 400 staff from its marine business by the end of next year, its latest move to make the unit more efficient

MN 100: FloScan Instruments, Inc.

The Company: FloScan is a Seattle-based corporation that designs and manufactures its products in the United States. With worldwide sales at an all-time high,

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1155 sec (9 req/sec)