Ship exhaust and Climate Change

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

Moderator: Peak Moderation

Post Reply
raspberry-blower
Posts: 1868
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:26 am

Ship exhaust and Climate Change

Post by raspberry-blower »

Not entirely sure which category to post this in as it is equally relevant to the Climate Change thread.

Phys org: Ship Exhaust makes Oceanic Thunderstorms more intense
The new study is the first to show ship exhaust can alter thunderstorm intensity. The researchers conclude that particles from ship exhaust make cloud droplets smaller, lifting them higher in the atmosphere. This creates more ice particles and leads to more lightning.

The results provide some of the first evidence that humans are changing cloud formation on a nearly continual basis, rather than after a specific incident like a wildfire, according to the authors. Cloud formation can affect rainfall patterns and alter climate by changing how much sunlight clouds reflect to space.
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools - Douglas Adams.
vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Re: Ship exhaust and Climate Change

Post by vtsnowedin »

raspberry-blower wrote:Not entirely sure which category to post this in as it is equally relevant to the Climate Change thread.

Phys org: Ship Exhaust makes Oceanic Thunderstorms more intense
The new study is the first to show ship exhaust can alter thunderstorm intensity. The researchers conclude that particles from ship exhaust make cloud droplets smaller, lifting them higher in the atmosphere. This creates more ice particles and leads to more lightning.

The results provide some of the first evidence that humans are changing cloud formation on a nearly continual basis, rather than after a specific incident like a wildfire, according to the authors. Cloud formation can affect rainfall patterns and alter climate by changing how much sunlight clouds reflect to space.
I can't give that much credit when considering the volume of the earth's atmosphere compared to the relatively tiny volume of the worlds fleet ship exhaust.
Now ninety million barrels of oil a day consumed and for the most part burned with exhaust gasses vented to the atmosphere is probably a problem with all the cars, planes,and house furnaces belching out their waste contributing to the problem but ocean going ships are most probably the least guilty of any negative effects.
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5805
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

Ocean going ships use the most polluting oil product of all - bunker oil, is high carbon, high sulphur, high in particulates. It is a small (? less than 10% ) fraction of total production but ships concentrate in narrow shipping lanes, and will certainly have localised effects. At least, unlike aircraft, the particulates are not directly delivered to the high atmosphere.
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12380
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

The constant stream of ships up and down the West African coast is delivering the pollution that Ralph mentioned right into the breeding ground for Atlantic hurricanes.

The problem with aircraft emissions is the chemicals involved - NOX. These react with ozone among other things to cause problems.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Post by vtsnowedin »

kenneal - lagger wrote:The constant stream of ships up and down the West African coast is delivering the pollution that Ralph mentioned right into the breeding ground for Atlantic hurricanes.

The problem with aircraft emissions is the chemicals involved - NOX. These react with ozone among other things to cause problems.
Would you compare that to the fuel burned over the length of I-95 in the USA from Florida to Maine?
woodburner
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 pm

Post by woodburner »

Ship exhaust is tiny when compared to other fossil fuel burning, or much other burning or a small volcano.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12380
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:The constant stream of ships up and down the West African coast is delivering the pollution that Ralph mentioned right into the breeding ground for Atlantic hurricanes.

The problem with aircraft emissions is the chemicals involved - NOX. These react with ozone among other things to cause problems.
Would you compare that to the fuel burned over the length of I-95 in the USA from Florida to Maine?
The west coast of Africa is where the hurricane forms. How it is formed has a greater effect on its power in the western Atlantic/Caribbean than how it dies over continental USA. Once it gets to I-95 it is on its way out as it has lost the hot waters which give rise to its power.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Post by vtsnowedin »

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The west coast of Africa is where the hurricane forms. How it is formed has a greater effect on its power in the western Atlantic/Caribbean than how it dies over continental USA. Once it gets to I-95 it is on its way out as it has lost the hot waters which give rise to its power.
Dose the air pollution from the USA not get up to the upper atmosphere and spread around by the jet stream?
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12380
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
The west coast of Africa is where the hurricane forms. How it is formed has a greater effect on its power in the western Atlantic/Caribbean than how it dies over continental USA. Once it gets to I-95 it is on its way out as it has lost the hot waters which give rise to its power.
Dose the air pollution from the USA not get up to the upper atmosphere and spread around by the jet stream?
Yes, it does but it gets diluted by the time it gets back around to West Africa. It's the "perfect storm" scenario; the large pollution source, the perfect particle size and the massive energy source coinciding in the same place at the same time leading to the perfect storm.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Post by vtsnowedin »

kenneal - lagger wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
The west coast of Africa is where the hurricane forms. How it is formed has a greater effect on its power in the western Atlantic/Caribbean than how it dies over continental USA. Once it gets to I-95 it is on its way out as it has lost the hot waters which give rise to its power.
Dose the air pollution from the USA not get up to the upper atmosphere and spread around by the jet stream?
Yes, it does but it gets diluted by the time it gets back around to West Africa. It's the "perfect storm" scenario; the large pollution source, the perfect particle size and the massive energy source coinciding in the same place at the same time leading to the perfect storm.
I have to doubt the actual math considering the small fraction of each barrel of crude oil that ends up as bunker oil divided by the small faction of the worlds maritime shipping that is exhausted on the west coast of Africa.
Post Reply