China is known to be one of the largest trading countries in the world, and the term “Made in China” can now be seen in a bunch of different products over the past decades. With the rise of these products coming from this particular country, trade ships docking in East Asian ports have also increased. However, they bring more than just clothes, containers, and other items, as the also bring in pollution, which does result in the rising levels of risks in health.
Rising Number of Trade Ships Coming in and out of China Comes With a Price
The increase in trade in East Asian ports, more specifically those in China, comes with a price, and we’re not talking about something of monetary value here. With the growing number of shipping vessels visiting, these are pumping out greenhouse gases, as well as other pollutants, out into the air. This causes more than 10,000 premature deaths per year, as per as study that was published on Monday in Nature Climate Change.
Dr. Carlos Dora, coordinator of the World Health Organization’s interventions for healthy environment unit, said the following: “Air pollution kills as many people as tobacco. It’s not only a health issue, it’s a major healthy issue.” It should be noted that Dora is not involved in the research, however, he did praise the paper for showing the cost of pollution to the lives of the people.
There are also previous studies that have examined a similar topic, especially with regards to the emissions of ships. These researches include ships in North America and in Europe, but these reports have included relatively little information from other global regions. A team of researchers in China and in the United States have banded together and decided to take a closer look at all of the shipping vessels passing through waters located at the East Asian regions.
These ships do send location information regularly to satellites. With the use of calculating the distance traveled within regular periods of time, the researchers were able to estimate speed, and these significantly affects emissions. When the scientists have acquired the required data around the ships, specifically that of their routes and speed, they were able to simulate how particles were mingling into the air and how emissions from the ship would mix with the atmosphere.
As expected, the team of scientists studying the ship vessels going through China and East Asian regions had greatly increased over the past decade. The pollution being emitted by these vessels already account for 16-percent of global shipping carbon dioxide emissions, as compared to the 4 to 7-percent that was found in the years 2002 to 2005.
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