The contribution of ship emissions to air pollution in the North Sea regions


As a consequence of the global distribution of manufacturing sites and the increasing international division of labour, ship traffic is steadily increasing and is becoming more and more important as an origin of air pollution. This study investigates the impact of ship emissions in coastal areas of the North Sea under conditions of the year 2000 by means of a regional chemistry transport model which runs on a sufficiently high resolution to study air pollution in coastal regions. It was found that northern Germany and Denmark in summer suffer from more than 50% higher sulphate, nitrate and ammonium aerosol concentrations due to contributions from ships. The implementation of a sulphur emission control area (SECA) in the North Sea, as it was implemented at the end of 2007, directly results in reduced sulphur dioxide and sulphate aerosol concentrations while nitrate aerosol concentrations are slightly increased. Ship emissions lead to significantly enhanced air pollution by secondary inorganic aerosols in North Sea coastal areas.
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