Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ship Sulfur Emissions Found To Strongly Impact Worldwide Ocean And Coastal Pollution

Date:
August 20, 1999
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Ship emissions are a dominant contributor to atmospheric sulfur dioxide concentrations over much of the world's oceans and in several coastal regions, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Duke University report in a Nature article today.

PITTSBURGH -- Ship emissions are a dominant contributor to atmospheric sulfur dioxide concentrations over much of the world's oceans and in several coastal regions, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Duke University report in a Nature article today.

This news follows the Carnegie Mellon team's initial finding that air emissions from trade-carrying cargo ships powered by diesel engines are among the world's highest polluting combustion sources per ton of fuel consumed, published Oct. 30, 1997 in Science.

The most important finding from this study, according to Carnegie Mellon authors Spyros Pandis, James Corbett, Paul Fischbeck and Kevin Capaldo, and Duke author Prasad Kasibhatla, is that ships affect scientific understanding of climate change.

Ships use the tar-like, sulfur-concentrated remains of petroleum left once the gasoline, oil and all other products have been extracted. This high-sulfur fuel is responsible for the significant environmental impacts of ship sulfur emissions. Regionally, sulfur emissions contribute to acid rain, which can pollute freshwater lakes and rivers, and damage vegetation.

"Ships also have been known to contribute to the formation of clouds over the ocean," Pandis said. "Sulfur emissions have a large role in the formation of aerosols (tiny particles) on which water condenses to form clouds. 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."

"Since aerosols have a much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere -- about a week compared to decades and hundreds of years for greenhouse gases -- these effects have been difficult to quantify," Corbett added. "Our study shows that sulfur from ships may be an important factor in solving this part of the global climate change puzzle."

The study also shows that the effect of ship emissions is most evident in the Northern Hemisphere oceans, where greater than 60 percent of sulfur dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and 30 percent of all sulfates can be attributed to ships. Except for the area encompassing Australia, the Southern Hemisphere oceans are almost unaffected. This is because of the heavier shipping that occurs in the north. This is most important for coastal cities that receive the brunt of sulfur pollution from ships.

This study was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Ship Sulfur Emissions Found To Strongly Impact Worldwide Ocean And Coastal Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990820022710.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (1999, August 20). Ship Sulfur Emissions Found To Strongly Impact Worldwide Ocean And Coastal Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990820022710.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Ship Sulfur Emissions Found To Strongly Impact Worldwide Ocean And Coastal Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990820022710.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins