Exhaust fumes from container ships influence cloud composition and reflect solar radiation

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New research suggests that exhaust fumes from container ships could be delaying the effects of climate change.

According to the University of Washington, exhaust fumes from container ships have sulfate particles that attract water molecules. These transform into cloud droplets that can pack clouds and, in turn, reflect solar radiation before it warms the ocean.

Researchers looked at satellite data from one of the busiest Atlantic shipping lanes from between 2003 and 2015. They calculated what the lane would've looked like with emissions and without. They say that the difference helps to clarify how much industrial pollution influences clouds.

The University of Washington posits that without the cooling effect of these sulfate particles then the Earth may have already heated by 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is a change deemed to have significant societal impacts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of container ship exhaust fumes
2. Depiction of sulfate particles reflecting solar radiation
3. Depiction of Earth with and without sulfate particles
4. Depiction of Earth heating by 1.5 degrees Celsius

VOICEOVER (in English):

"According to the University of Washington, exhaust fumes from container ships have sulfate particles that attract water molecules."

"These transform into cloud droplets that can pack clouds and, in turn, reflect solar radiation before it warms the ocean."

"Researchers looked at satellite data from one of the busiest Atlantic shipping lanes from between 2003 and 2015."

"They calculated what the lane would've looked like with emissions and without. They say that the difference helps to clarify how much industrial pollution influences clouds."

"The University of Washington posits that without the cooling effect of these sulfate particles the Earth may have already heated by 1.5 degrees Celsius."

"This is a change deemed to have significant societal impacts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."



SOURCES: University of Washington
https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/03/24/ships-emissions-create-measurable-regional-change-in-clouds/