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United kingdom. ‘Ship Route’ study reveals impact of IMO 2020 on reducing pollution from ships (A. Martinengo)

Image credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz

Low sulfur fuel regulationInternational Maritime Organization (IMO) It represented a major change in the maritime sector’s efforts to reduce air pollution from ships.

known as “IMO 2020”, The regulation set a new global limit for the sulfur content in bunker fuels used by ships, which in turn reduced emissions of sulfur oxide (SOx) harmful to human health by about 85%.

Now a new NASA study helps visualize the benefits by showing a study Artificial clouds “ship trail”And the that act as the fingerprints of pollution.

Narrow clouds first observed as “anomalous cloud lines” In the first meteorological satellite images obtained in the 1960s, it was formed when water vapor condenses around microscopic pollution particles that ships emit as exhaust gases.

Credits: NASA’s Earth Observatory

Based on nearly two decades of satellite imagery, researchers have found that the number of ship tracks significantly decreased After new rules on low-sulfur fuels come into effect in 2020. Trade disruptions related to COVID-19 may have played a secondary role.

Lower sulfur emissions meant there were fewer aerosol particles released to form detectable ship tracks.

Scientists used advanced computer science to create the first historical measurements of ships’ tracks. Using artificial intelligence, they were able to automatically determine the paths of ships over 17 years of daytime photos (2003-2020), taken by Medium Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) NASA on board Aqua .

Credits: NASA’s Earth Observatory

“Without this kind of full, large-scale sampling of ship paths, we can’t begin to fully understand this problem,” The main author said Tianel Yuanan atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA.

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Tianel Yuan, atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

According to Tianel Yuan, “…Similar but more targeted sulfur regulations, such as the IMO emissions control zone in place since 2015 off the west coast of the United States and Canada, have not had the desired effect because operators have changed routings. And they have drawn longer routes to avoid the designed space.”

When analyzing the 2020 data, the researchers found that the intensity “ship paths” It fell that year on all major shipping routes.

Although ship tracking data indicated that COVID-19 played a role in reducing global shipping traffic for a few months in the spring of 2020, the change alone cannot explain the sharp decline in vessel paths observed throughout the year. For several months into 2021, drag on ship routes remained at record levels even as global shipping returned to growth.

The researchers then concluded that the new global fuel regulation played the dominant role in reducing ship impacts in 2020.

The researchers also found that fluctuations in economic activity left visible traces in the satellite record. In particular, the transoceanic ship routes betweenAsia and the Americas Reflect dips and peaks in the trade. Looking back, the study finds that the overall upward trend in maritime activity between 2003 and 2013, which was reflected in ship lane clouds, declined for about a year in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. Even the most notable decline between 2014 and 2016, This likely reflects a slowdown in Chinese imports and exports of raw materials and goods.

“Ship tracks are great natural laboratories for studying the interaction between aerosols and low clouds and how this affects the amount of radiation the Earth receives and is reflected back into space.” Yuan said. “This is the main uncertainty that we need to address in terms of what is driving the climate at the moment.”

Angelo Martinengo
https://kipin.in/8qlw8cqwfn6
E-mail: [email protected]
senior journalist, “Container World”Varoderoma (Vatican)
< https://www.farodiroma.it/category/container-world/ >
“The Innovator of Modern Mobile Digital Advertising with ISO Smart Container”.
Genoese Ambassador to the World – Honorary Representative – conferred on October 12, 2018 by the Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci, Municipality of Genoa, Liguria, Italy.

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