Study: Carnival Cruise Ships Produce 10 Times The Sulphur Oxide As All 260 Million European Cars

We have previously discussed studies showing an astonishing number of deaths linked to the use of bunker fuel by container shipping — a cheap but remarkably dirty fuel source. The other industry that uses the intensely polluting fuel is the passenger cruise industry. Cruise ships have been routinely cited for poor environmental practices, particularly Carnival Corp which was hit recently with yet another massive fine. Now, a report by Transport & Environment has found that Carnival produced in 2017 nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide (SOx) around European coasts than all 260 million European cars.

Then there is Royal Caribbean Cruises, the world’s second largest cruise company, which was four times worse than the European car fleet. SOx emissions form sulphate (SO4) aerosols that increase human health risks and contribute to acidification in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Due to their lax marine sulphur fuel standards , the worst hit countries are Spain, Italy and Greece. Those countries are followed by France and Norway.

The reason for this shocking level of pollution is that the cruise industry has been able to avoid serious regulation. Not only are these ships allowed to use this highly destructive fuel, but Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) standards currently exempt cruise shipping. There is also the possibility of using battery or electrical power while entering and leaving ports. The most ambitious proposals concern changing the fuel source entirely to hydrogen or other alternatives.

What is astonishing is that cruise lines sell a type of eco-tourism in going to pristine areas but constitute an intense pollution source. While Carnival’s slogan is  “Fun For All. All For Fun,” there is a darker reality to these cruises in terms of air pollution.

15 thoughts on “Study: Carnival Cruise Ships Produce 10 Times The Sulphur Oxide As All 260 Million European Cars”

  1. Gaming power consumption in California alone is estimated at 11 GW by 2021 up from 5 GW in 2011. Training one AI model is estimated to produce the same amount of carbon as five vehicles.

    There is substantial power/pollution from sources other than the oft demonized sources but, fear not: the SIA estimates by 2040 the Earth will be unable to produce the energy to meet our power requirements, so click on that cellphone app and tap, tap away because we’re all going to die from the not-zombie apocalypse.

  2. The top grade of Diesel used to power ships only serves to warm up the engines. Then comes Bunker C. But be careful what the meanings are.

    No. 1 fuel oil is a light distillate fuel chemically comparable to kerosene. … Grade No. 6 fuels, also known as residual fuel oil (RFO) or heavy fuel oil (HFO), are the remainder of the crude oil after gasoline and distillate fuel oils have been extracted through distillation.

    Kerosene grades up to nine using for example JP for Jet Propulsion have nothing to do with refining but ability to keep it’s chemical properties. This is done by constant testing every time it’s moved from storage tank to storage tank to ship, tanks to 18 wheeler tank to underground storage to the using vehicle or engine tank.

    But kerosene for heating or oil lamps and for jet engines also uses the flash point system

    Heating Oil grades

    No. 1 S5000 No. 1 S500 No. 1 S15 No. 2 S5000 No. 2 S500 No. 2 S15 Grades B6-B20 S5000 Grades B6-B20 S500 Grades B6-B20 S15 No. 4 (Light) No. 4 No. 5 (Light) No. 5 No. 6

    Read more at the ANSI Blog: ASTM Fuel Oils Standard Specification https://blog.ansi.org/?p=157194

    Why all this? Because when oil is refined into it’s various products it affects it’s abilities to do certain jobs at and considers residue as well as price of fuel economics. Each has it’s own use.

    To understand this and more you want a chemist specializing in fuels and then set the goal required. Then be prepared to pay the price.

    Bunker C is just another form of oil useful in certain situtations that keep the price down therefore the the cost of delivering your USA branded, but made in Mexico Car to Africa or Asia.

    JP kerosenes are picked to lower the failure rate or increase ‘milage.’ If you want long loitering time over a target area for a drone the fuel must have passed certain inspections with tighter restrictions where as if you want to go for load capacity or aerobatics’ jet fighter manuevers a different test restriction is used.

    In schools it’s called A, B, C, D and F. Getting rid of D, and F will not change the abilities of A, B, or C. fourty percent of them will still D or F just as a portion of A will still be B or C .

  3. I wonder if Fishwings has a timeline for when “Trump followers…..can’t drink the water or go outside without choking”.
    Presumably, those with TDS would also be unable to drink the water or go outside, too.
    Maybe Fishwings can consult with that other great environmental prophet😉😆, Paul Ehrlich, and come up an approximate time when the water will be undrinkable and the air unbreathable.
    Once I know about when all of this environmental catastrophe is supposed to unfold, I’ll be prepared by heavily investing in brewery stocks and soft drink makers.
    I’m not sure how to cash in on the unbreathable air🤢🤮; I need to do more research 🤔 on that, but there are probably publically traded companies out there that manufacture oxygen tanks.

  4. So what, Trump enablers on this site could care less how much pollution Trump will allow. Every polluter willfully hands money over to Trump for just that reason. The EPA as a watchdog, gone. Water and air standards, gone….And the Trump followers go wild, until they can’t drink the water or go outside and not choke. But by then it will be Hillary’s or Obama’s fault, not Trump, no sir, no way.

    1. Yes, and Trump is certainly responsible for the worst hit countries of Spain, Italy and Greece, followed by France and Norway. Got it.

      He’s of course also responsible (in this, he really IS responsible) for your TDS.

  5. I saw one of these cruise ships in San Pedro Harbor and was shocked by its size. They make freighters look small by comparison. Common sense alone suggests these ships are bad for the environment..

    Anyone who has worked in a hotel or restaurant knows how much garbage those businesses can generate. A super-sized cruise ship must generate the garbage of a Las Vegas hotel-casino. Where does that garbage all go amid the typical voyage of a cruise ship?

    1. Y’know, they’ll pretty much tell you if you do a little research. Short answer: they off-load some of it at certain ports of call, the rest of it when they return to port. Other of it that qualifies for this treatment gets ground up, pulverized, and then released into the ocean as food for ocean creatures.

  6. It’s a reasonable wager you’re referencing a reporter who misplaced a couple of decimal points.

      1. It’s NPR, which means it is (1) derivative and (2) offered by English or J-school majors who havent a clue how to read a working paper of this kind but (3) have predictable biases (one being in the direction of social hypochondria).

        A dear cousin of mine returning from abroad was spooked by a HuffPo article with the title ‘Housing is Unaffordable in All 50 States”. I’ll refer you to a Thomas Sowell column on the subject if you want a good laugh while he deconstructs the notion of ‘affordable housing’. Of course, it’s absurd. From 1973 to the present, people’s expenditures on housing and utilities have amounted to between 16.9% and 19.0% of their total personal consumption expenditures. There’s no secular trend in this datum. People’s nominal expenditure on housing and utilities increases pari passu with their nominal incomes. Housing is neither more nor less ‘affordable’ than it ever was. Vagrants number < 0.2% of the population, the vast majority of whom are dysfunctional people who might be on the street no matter what housing prices were. The whole discourse about 'affordable housing' is utter humbug, but media outlets like NPR still trade in it. Housing might be more expensive than it otherwise would be consequent to land use regulations or building codes, but don't expect HuffPo or NPR to offer any text on that unless they can work in some bogus racial angle.

        So, no, I don't pay much attention to NPR and the like, because they're dishonest when they're not being dolts.

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