Ship emissions are significant sources of polluting aerosols in coastal regions, causing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths per year globally. To address this, in 2015 the International Maritime Organisaiton (IMO) ordered a reduction in the maximium ship sulfur emissions in coastal Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) of Europe and North America. From January 2020 this will be expanded to international waters, to reduce sulfur emissions from 3.5% to 0.5% of fuel mass.
This reduction in sulfur emissions from shipping is predicted to almost halve the number of premature deaths globally from sulfate aerosols but less sulfate in the atmosphere is also expected to reduce cloud optical thickness which may lead to an increase in global temperature.
ACRUISE will use a multidisciplinary approach to quantify the impact on atmospheric chemistry and climate of the introduction of the IMO’s regulation of sulfur emissions from shipping in international waters in January 2020. This approach will combine in situ observations (aircraft and surface stations), satellite analysis and modelling across a large range of scales (from cloud, to regional to global) to quantify the chemical and climatic impact of the 2020 sulfur emission regulation.
Project start date: January 2019
Project end date: January 2022
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Dr Frances Hopkins, Dr Tim Smyth, Dr Tom Bell