Are container ship exhaust fumes delaying climate change?

New research from the University of Washington has some interesting data.


NSFW    SEATTLE — 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 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.
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