Container Ships Altering Our Atmosphere


Photo by Matias Schreiner

I remember hearing about this a year or more ago when the U.S. military was doing some studies to solve a mystery they thought might affect national security.  The military had noticed satellite photos with strange lines all across the Pacific Ocean.  Wondering what was going on, the research began to make sure it was not one of those evil plots our last President was so concerned about.  It was quickly determined that it was not a natural occurrence, but it took a while before someone pointed out that the atmospheric tracks followed the Pacific’s shipping lanes.

The answer turned out to be another pollution issue that had not been previously considered.   The huge container ships that bring all of our imported products from Asia to the west coast of the U.S. burn a tremendous amount of fuel.  I wondered how much they burned per mile so I did a bit of research.  After I discovered they average 44 FEET for every gallon of fuel burned, I discovered something else about their fuel.  These huge ships don’t use diesel, they use something called bunker fuel.   Basically this is a more liquid form of the asphalt used to pave roads.  It is so heavy and dense that it must be preheated in order to move through the ships engines where it is burned and combusted out the smoke stacks.  This “fuel” is used because of its very low price.  However it is so foul and dirty parts of it are often discharged beneath the ship to lessen the unsightly smoke going out the stack.  I wonder what this beneath the ship discharge is doing to the water, but this post is about the lines in the atmosphere.

Because of the low quality, less refined fuel, more particles are discharged out the smoke stacks of the ships.  A high percentage of the particulates in the ship’s exhaust are sulphur dioxide.  These particles create a surface for moisture to bind to, condensing and forming clouds that track the ship’s movement across the Pacific.  Some of the droplets in these artificial clouds make it to the west coast of North America, falling as acid rain.  The effect is much the same as the acid rain created by the coal burning plants in the mid-west which falls on the forest of the northeast.  Some of these sulphuric acid droplets fall into the ocean before reaching land.  It is thought that those pollutants are a significant contributor to the acidification of the oceans.  There are many scientists that see the acidification of the oceans as the single biggest threat to humanities long-term survival and indeed the survival of all life on earth.  That is a topic for another day.

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Will Sig
1 Steve

hi Will,
Great post!
It reminds me that I wish people would focus more on the first part of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, and just CONSUME LESS! It seems to me that at least half of the stuff shipped over from China and sold at Walmart is unnecessary. Just my humble opinion.
Again, an interesting “side effect” of this country’s seemingly unquenchable desire for cheap imported stuff. Hmmmm…
~ Steve, the crotchety trade show guru

Steves last blog post..Evacuation Focuses the Mind


2 Bob

Wow, never even thought of this type of pollution, but it sure shows up nicely thanks to satellite imaging, funny the military noticed it and one one else before them,odd.

Bobs last blog post..The Saskatchewan (Buzzard Coulee) Meteorite Search and Recovery Part II


3 Anne

Goes nicely with the chemtrails …
Great post!

Annes last blog post..Consciousness, brain and change …


4 Will

You are right, Steve. I wonder how much more this cheap imported stuff would cost if the ships were forced to use cleaner fuel? This is another example of how the costs may seem lower on these goods, but we really pay in other ways.

Bob – I think it was notices before, but the military was just the first to get worried about it and investigate. They just wanted to make sure it was not something threatening national security. Maybe they were remembering those balloon bombs Japan sent our way in WW2?

Anne – I know some people think the chemtrails are sinister evil plots against humanity, but more reasonably they are indeed probably closely related to this.


5 Anna

Will you are the best in finding excellent stuff to learn. I never knew that, and as a matter of fact I always thought I was breathing nice fresh air when on the ship. This is actually sad, and I want to know who will go after this issue…Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..Wonders of Nature, The Grapefruit Tree Has Been Born


6 Alice Radio

earth has been shouldering too much pressure. human are smart for their achievement with so many miracles while they are stupid partly they do not have any sense of protecting earth which is simply unique one supporting humen and it will go exhaust one day maybe very soon then nothing human are able to make out even lives.


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