13 Feb 2008

Impact on the EU of SOx, NOx and primary PM2.5 emissions from shipping in the Mediterranean Sea: Summary of the findings of the Euro Delta Project

Report no. 1/08: This report discusses the outcome of modelling scenarios comparing the impact of emissions from ships in different areas of the Mediterranean with those from land-based emissions. The modelling uses the results of a recent emission inventory for the Mediterranean Sea and the modelling structure developed for the wider “Euro Delta” project.

For the Mediterranean Sea as a whole, the emission potencies for exposure of EU populations to fine particulates are found to be significantly lower (by a factor of about five or more) than emissions from land-based sources. Only for “adjacent to shore” Mediterranean Sea scenarios do the emission reduction potencies approach those of land-based measures. This has important implications for the development of cost-effective abatement strategies. These results are in good agreement with data from the RAINS/GAINS model used in the integrated assessment modelling of EU air quality.

Comparison of the two sets demonstrates that the situation in the Mediterranean is very different to that of the North Sea or Baltic where emission potencies are often similar to those of land-based sources (e.g. for Germany and the UK). They further confirm that for other impacts (e.g. ozone impacts on human health; acidification and eutrophication), the potency of contributing emissions from the Mediterranean Sea is also extremely low (a factor of about ten) compared to land-based sources and the emissions from shipping in the North Sea and Baltic.

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