delware environmental institute

More ships, more pollution as Arctic warms

More ships, more pollution as Arctic warms

As the ice-capped Arctic Ocean warms, ship traffic will increase at the top of the world. And if the sea ice continues to decline, a new route connecting international trading partners may emerge—but not without significant repercussions to climate.

Those are the findings of a U.S. and Canadian research team that includes a UD scientist.

Growing Arctic ship traffic will bring with it air pollution that has the potential to accelerate climate change in the world’s northern reaches, according to the researchers. And, they say, it’s more than a greenhouse gas problem, as engine exhaust particles could increase warming by some 17-78 percent.

James J. Corbett, professor of marine science and policy at UD, is a lead author of the first geospatial approach to evaluating the potential impacts of shipping on Arctic climate. The study, “Arctic Shipping Emissions Inventories and Future Scenarios,” was published recently in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. (full article)