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Contribution of ship emissions to the concentration and deposition of air pollutants in Europe

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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Copernicus GmbH

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      Abstract

      <p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Emissions from the marine transport sector are one of the least-regulated anthropogenic emission sources and contribute significantly to air pollution. Although strict limits were introduced recently for the maximum sulfur content in marine fuels in the SECAs (sulfur emission control areas) and in EU ports, sulfur emissions outside the SECAs and emissions of other components in all European maritime areas have continued to increase in the last two decades. We have used the air quality model CAMx (Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions) with and without ship emissions for the year 2006 to determine the effects of international shipping on the annual as well as seasonal concentrations of ozone, primary and secondary components of PM<sub>2.5</sub>, and the dry and wet deposition of nitrogen and sulfur compounds in Europe. The largest changes in pollutant concentrations due to ship emissions were predicted for summer. Concentrations of particulate sulfate increased due to ship emissions in the Mediterranean (up to 60<span class="thinspace"></span>%), the English Channel and the North Sea (30–35<span class="thinspace"></span>%), while increases in particulate nitrate levels were found especially in the north, around the Benelux area (20<span class="thinspace"></span>%), where there were high NH<sub>3</sub> land-based emissions. Our model results showed that not only are the atmospheric concentrations of pollutants affected by ship emissions, but also depositions of nitrogen and sulfur compounds increase significantly along the shipping routes. NO<sub><i>x</i></sub> emissions from the ships, especially in the English Channel and the North Sea, cause a decrease in the dry deposition of reduced nitrogen at source regions by moving it from the gas phase to the particle phase which then contributes to an increase in the wet deposition at coastal areas with higher precipitation. In the western Mediterranean region, on the other hand, model results show an increase in the deposition of oxidized nitrogen (mostly HNO<sub>3</sub>) due to the ship traffic. Dry deposition of SO<sub>2</sub> seems to be significant along the shipping routes, whereas sulfate wet deposition occurs mainly along the Scandinavian and Adriatic coasts. The results presented in this paper suggest that evolution of NO<sub><i>x</i></sub> emissions from ships and land-based NH<sub>3</sub> emissions will play a significant role in future European air quality.</p>

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          Epidemiological studies consistently link ambient concentrations of particulate matter (PM) to negative health impacts, including asthma, heart attacks, hospital admissions, and premature mortality. We model ambient PM concentrations from oceangoing ships using two geospatial emissions inventories and two global aerosol models. We estimate global and regional mortalities by applying ambient PM increases due to ships to cardiopulmonary and lung cancer concentration-risk functions and population models. Our results indicate that shipping-related PM emissions are responsible for approximately 60,000 cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths annually, with most deaths occurring near coastlines in Europe, East Asia, and South Asia. Under current regulation and with the expected growth in shipping activity, we estimate that annual mortalities could increase by 40% by 2012.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
            Atmos. Chem. Phys.
            Copernicus GmbH
            1680-7324
            2016
            February 18 2016
            : 16
            : 4
            : 1895-1906
            10.5194/acp-16-1895-2016
            © 2016

            https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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