The impact of ship emissions on air quality and human health in the Gothenburg area – Part II: Scenarios for 2040

Shipping is an important source of air pollutants, from the global to the local scale. Ships emit substantial amounts of sulfur dioxides, nitrogen dioxides, and particulate matter in the vicinity of coasts, threatening the health of the coastal population, especially in harbour cities. Reductions in emissions due to shipping have been targeted by several regulations. Nevertheless, effects of these regulations come into force with temporal delays, global ship traffic is expected to grow in the future, and other land-based anthropogenic emissions might decrease. Thus, it is necessary to investigate combined impacts to identify the impact of shipping activities on air quality, population exposure, and health effects in the future. We investigated the future effect of shipping emissions on air quality and related health effects considering different scenarios of the development of shipping under current regional trends of economic growth and already decided regulations in the Gothenburg urban area in 2040. Additionally, we investigated the impact of a large-scale implementation of shore electricity in the Port of Gothenburg. For this purpose, we established a one-way nested chemistry transport modelling (CTM) system from the global to the urban scale, to calculate pollutant concentrations, population-weighted concentrations, and health effects related to NO2, PM2.5, and O3. The simulated concentrations of NO2 and PM2.5 in future scenarios for the year 2040 are in general very low with up to 4 ppb for NO2 and up to 3.5 µg m−3 PM2.5 in the urban areas which are not close to the port area. From 2012 the simulated overall exposure to PM2.5 decreased by approximately 30 % in simulated future scenarios; for NO2 the decrease was over 60 %. The simulated concentrations of O3 increased from the year 2012 to 2040 by about 20 %. In general, the contributions of local shipping emissions in 2040 focus on the harbour area but to some extent also influence the rest of the city domain. The simulated impact of onshore electricity implementation for shipping in 2040 shows reductions for NO2 in the port of up to 30 %, while increasing O3 of up to 3 %. Implementation of onshore electricity for ships at berth leads to additional local reduction potentials of up to 3 % for PM2.5 and 12 % for SO2 in the port area. All future scenarios show substantial decreases in population-weighted exposure and health-effect impacts.

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Last updated: 2021-05-17

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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