09 Feb 2021

09 Feb 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Projections of shipping emissions and the related impact on air pollution and human health in the Nordic region

Camilla Geels1,2, Morten Winther1, Camilla Andersson3, Jukka-Pekka Jalkanen4, Jørgen Brandt1,2, Lise M. Frohn1,2, Ulas Im1,2, Wing Leung3, and Jesper H. Christensen1,2 Camilla Geels et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, P. O. Box. 358, DK-4000 Roskilde Denmark
  • 2iCLIMATE, Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change at Aarhus University
  • 3Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SE-60176 Norrköping, Sweden
  • 4Atmospheric Composition Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. International initiatives have successfully brought down the emissions from shipping in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), and hence the related negative impacts on environment and human health. But the question is if this is enough to mitigate the future increase in shipping activities. The overall goal of this study is to provide an up-to-date view on future ship emissions and provide a holistic view on atmospheric pollutants and its contribution to air quality in the Nordic (and Arctic) area. First step has been to setup new and detailed scenarios for the potential developments in global shipping emissions, including different regulations and new routes in the Arctic. The scenarios include a Baseline scenario, and two additional SOx Emission Control Area (SECA) and heavy fuel oil (HFO) ban scenarios. All three scenarios are calculated in two variants involving Business As Usual (BAU) and High Growth (HiG) traffic growths. Additionally a Polar route scenario is included, with new ship traffic routes in the future Arctic with less sea ice. This has been combined with existing Current Legislation scenarios for the land-based emissions (ECLIPSE V5a) and used as input for two Nordic chemistry-transport models (DEHM and MATCH). Thereby the current (2015) and future (2030, 2050) air pollution levels and the contribution from shipping have been simulated for the Nordic and Arctic areas. Population exposure and the number of premature deaths attributable to air pollution in the Nordic area have thereafter been assessed by using the health assessment model EVA. It is estimated that within the Nordic region, approximately 9900 persons died prematurely due to air pollution in 2015. When including the projected development in both shipping and land-based emissions, this number is estimated to decrease to approximately 7900 in 2050. The shipping alone is associated with about 850 premature deaths during current day conditions (as a mean over the two models), decreasing to approximately 600 cases in the 2050 BAU scenario. Introducing a HFO ban has the potential to lower the number of cases associated with emissions from shipping to approximately 550 in 2050, while the SECA scenario has a smaller impact. The worst case scenario of no additional regulation of shipping emissions combined with a high growth in the shipping traffic, will on the other hand lead to a small increase in the relative impact of shipping and the number of premature deaths related to shipping is in that scenario projected to be around 900 in 2050. This scenario also leads to increased deposition of nitrogen and black carbon in the Arctic, with potential impacts on environment and climate.

Camilla Geels et al.

Status: open (until 06 Apr 2021)

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Camilla Geels et al.

Data sets

EPITOME ship emissions: Projections of shipping emissions towards 2050 Geels, C., Winther, M., Andersson, C., Jalkanen, J.-P., Brandt, J., Frohn, L. M., and Christensen, J. H.

Camilla Geels et al.


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Short summary
In this study, we setup new shipping emissions scenarios, and use two Chemistry transport models and a health assessment model to assess the development in air quality and related health impacts in the Nordic region. Shipping alone is associated with about 850 premature deaths during current day conditions, decreasing to approximately 550–600 cases in the 2050 scenarios.