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Team Generates First Global Map of Cargo Ship Pollution, Revealing Effects of Fuel Regulations

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Shipping generates pollution in port cities around the world.

Credit: Andres Alvarado

A team led by researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) developed an algorithm that automates the process of tracking cargo ships via satellite data.

The researchers were able to used their algorithm to produce a global map of ship tracks using satellite data from 2003 to 2020, allowing them to assess the impact of fuel regulations implemented in 2015 and 2020 on cargo ship pollution.

They also plan to use the data to assess the impact of the interaction between pollutants and clouds on global temperatures.

Said UMBC's Tianle Yuan, "We can take advantage of the millions of ship track samples we have now to start to get hold of the overall aerosol-cloud interaction problem because ship tracks can be used as mini-labs."

The researchers plan to make their dataset and algorithm publicly available.

From University of Maryland, Baltimore County
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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