Perspectives on shipping emissions and their impacts on the surface ocean and lower atmosphere: an environmental-social-economic dimension
Ships predominantly use fossil fuels for propulsion and electricity generation, which emit greenhouse gases (GHGs), and air pollutants. Emission inventories of air pollutants from ship stacks have significantly improved in recent years. Previous studies provided convincing evidence that ship-emitted air pollutants have significant impacts on atmospheric chemistry, clouds, and ocean biogeochemistry. The need to improve air quality to protect human health and to mitigate climate change has driven a series of regulations, leading to rapid energy and technology transitions. This resulted in major changes in air emissions from shipping with implications on their environmental impacts, but observational studies remain limited. Growth in shipping in polar areas are expected to have distinct impacts on these pristine and sensitive environments. The transition to more sustainable shipping is also expected to cause further changes in fuels and technologies, and thus in air emissions. However, major uncertainties remain on the impact of future shipping emissions on the environment.
Reference: Shi, Z.B., Endres, S., Rutgersson, A., et al. (2023). Perspectives on shipping emissions and their impacts on the surface ocean and lower atmosphere: an environmental-social-economic dimension. Elem. Sci. Anth., 11(1), 00052. https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.2023.00052