March 13th, 2009
By John DeFore
Green Right Now
Wondering how much it matters that your sneakers were made in China and your coffee grown in Kenya? Consider this: The ships that brought those goods to America belch enough particulate pollutants into the world’s air to match half of all cars combined.
So says a paper just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, in which scientists led by Boulder, Colorado researcher Daniel A. Lack analyzed readings taken in and around the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2006. The team trailed over 200 commercial vessels that summer, measuring the emissions of everything from cargo freighters to cruise ships, and what they found isn’t happy news for those living in coastal areas.