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600% Increase in Arctic Shipping Will Boost Climate, Acid Rain Emissions

Ship traffic in the Western Arctic is set to increase almost 600% in the next decade, increasing emissions that contribute to both climate change and acid rain, according to a study for the International Council on Clean Transportation.

“All of those pollutants have climate and health implications,” said co-author Alyson Azzara. “The fact that it’s growing that much, that rapidly, is the focus.”

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The study team calculated that “tanker, bulk carrier and general cargo shipping into the Western Arctic will grow by between 117 and 469 ships per year,” Canadian Press reports. “If melting sea ice tempts some shippers to use either the Northwest Passage or Russia’s Northern Sea Route for container ships, that total could increase to an extra 882 ships a year.”