Scientists from Cranfield University have been awarded funding to assess the impact of emissions from shipping and cruises in the Arctic region.

A team from Cranfield University, University of Birmingham, University of Exeter and the British Antarctic Survey will embark on a new project to assess the impact of shipping emissions in the Arctic and North Atlantic on atmospheric conditions.

Global shipping is an important contributor to aerosol pollution, which is fine solid particles or tiny liquid droplets in the air, especially in remote marine regions. These aerosols can have a cooling effect on the climate. Shipping is currently undergoing significant changes, with new global maritime fuel regulations (with sulphur limit from 3.5% to 0.5%) and new climate-induced changes to available shipping routes in the Arctic.

Professor Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics at Cranfield University, who is leading the project on the University’s behalf, said: “The Arctic region is seeing an increase in shipping traffic both from tourist cruises and from trade routes. In order to protect this fragile ecosystem, we need to understand what effect the increased traffic is having on the atmosphere. Only by gaining this understanding can we put in place appropriate regulations and manage shipping effectively in the region.”

The funding for the project has been by provided by the Natural Environment Research Council. Around £24 million has been split between 14 research projects spanning a wide range of topics generated by the UK environmental science community.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.