Newsletter 1/2010

April 1/ 2010

What is SNOOP?
Air quality in coastal cities and harbour areas is becoming an important regulative issue. The Shipping-induced NOx and SOx emissions – OPerational monitoring network (SNOOP) project will monitor shipping patterns and emissions arising from marine traffic in the Baltic Sea area with special focus on the northern Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland.

Marine traffic is international by nature, and so are its emissions. Before the results of the ShipNODeff project, which studied shipping-induced NOx emissions and their impacts in the Baltic Sea, there was little consensus on the amount of emissions caused in the Baltic Sea by the maritime transport, yet alone their effects. SNOOP continues the work started during the ShipNODeff and focuses also on other types of emissions (SOx, PM, CO and CO2 emissions) as well as the demonstration of the effect of policy measures on emissions, and a more in-depth look into the human health effects in port areas in Finland and Estonia.

The project aims to establish a long-term follow-up network on ship exhaust emissions, which makes possible to observe development of ship exhaust emissions in the Central Baltic area. The project aims also to tie the information from the network to an effect estimation framework for HELCOM and port cities participating to the project.

The project is financed by Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007–2013 and Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) of Southwest Finland. The total budget of the project is approximately 1.3 MEUR. The project partners can be found here.

Operation information wanted from all ship types

Attention shipowners! Now you have a possibility to contribute to model development and get emission data for your fleet. Contact us and we will tell more.

Modeling of atmospheric emissions of shipping is a complex task. Due to numerous ship types sailing in the Baltic Sea and the variations in operation modes of vessels we have to collect more specific information to support existing data and model development. Wrong assumptions could lead to errors of tens of percents which can be avoided by cooperating with the shipping companies. Centre for Maritime Studies together with other project partners has been collecting operational information from ships for the quality assurance purposes.

The most important mission of the quality assurance is to verify the results of the model and create a calculation system which could be approved by the whole maritime industry. The quality assurance work acts as a communication bridge between the research and real life and therefore it is essential for the project success.

In return for cooperation we can offer emission results of the model for those vessels that deliver their operational information. All ships that sail in the Baltic Sea and have an operational AIS transponder, through all ship types from tugs to tankers, are scope of the study.

More information:
Juha Kalli
Project Engineer

University of Turku,
Centre for Maritime Studies
Tel. +358 2 333 8105
Mobile +358 403510516
email: juha.kalli(at)

CO2 emissions of marine traffic created a good discussion in the first SNOOP Policy Forum

The first SNOOP Policy Forum collected 40 participants at the beginning of March at Finnish Meteorological Institute to discuss about CO2 emissions of marine traffic. The participants represented authorities, ports and shipowners alike. During a single-day gathering the participants discussed vividly about shipowners’ view to CO2 emissions, future regulations concerning CO2 and new technologies which can help to reduce emissions of marine transport (e.g. alternative fuels, better energy efficiency of ships, optimized voyages, and sails).

During the SNOOP project three Policy Forums will be arranged to strengthen the linkage between stakeholders and the project. Policy Forums are gatherings aiming to give participants an open forum to discuss marine emissions but also spread information about results of SNOOP. The second Policy Forum will be arranged next year.

A mobile laboratory Sniffer helps SNOOP in measurements in harbour areas of Helsinki and Turku

SNOOP project needs measurement data about air emissions of marine traffic to produce policy-relevant, scientifically based information on emissions from shipping and their effects. One way to collect the needed data is an internationally unique mobile laboratory Sniffer.

Traffic emissions play the major role in diluting urban air quality. Exhaust particles and gases as well as street dust have been shown by recent toxicological and epidemiological studies to have hazardous effects on human health. Besides health effects traffic emissions affect climate by decreasing visibility and emitting green house gases (CO2).

Picture: Aleksi Malinen

The mobile laboratory Sniffer designed and built in the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences during the Tekes funded projects in 2003-2005, represents internationally unique high tech quality and is used for on-line measurements of traffic exhaust particles and street dust in real traffic situations. On the other hand, as an easily moveable platform for the versatile instrumentation it is suitable also for stationary measurements in hot spot areas such as harbours.

The instrumentation allows measurements of particle number concentrations along with number size distributions of 7 nm - 10 micrometer size particles, particle mass concentrations (PM1, PM2.5, PM10), trace gas concentrations (CO, CO2, NO, NO2 and NOx, SO2) as well as meteorological and geographical parameters.

During the SNOOP project two summer and two winter campaigns will be performed by Sniffer in the port areas in Helsinki and in Turku. The objective is to collect particle and gas data from ship and other traffic exhaust emissions in the harbour areas, e.g. vehicle loading to and unloading from the ships, and to study their local dispersion. These data will be utilised by the exposure and dispersion models in order to study how much ship exhaust emissions affect marine environment and human health in port areas in Finland and Estonia.

The first winter campaigns in the harbour areas in Helsinki (January 2010) and in Turku (February 2010) were successful. The preliminary results in Turku where the background concentrations are very small indicate that emissions from the approaching and passing ship can be detected. The data analysis is still going on.

What are we doing at the moment?

Emission model augmented with a particulate matter model
The emission model, which will be used to predict ship emissions inside harbour areas of Turku, Helsinki and Tallinn, has been augmented with a particulate matter module. This will enable the project to determine the level of ultrafine particulate matter and carbon monoxide produced by ships manoeuvring in harbour areas and at berth. For the first time, detailed inventories can be constructed taking the chemical composition of particulates into account. This alleviates some inaccuracies in the current emission estimates and subsequent health effect studies.

Measuring of concentrations successfully started
The first period of measuring concentrations of NO, NO2, SO2 and PM2.5 in Turku and in Helsinki near harbours has been completed successfully. Also the dispersion modelling of emissions of SO2 and NOx in Turku has been performed. These tasks have increased the measured and modelled knowledge of the effects of ship exhaust emissions on air quality. Measurements near harbours of Helsinki and Turku will be continued during summer by measuring concentrations of NO, NO2, SO2, and PM2.5 both stationary and using the Sniffer car. Sniffer car measures also particle distribution. During the summer, also the measurement campaign will be conducted at the isle of Aegna, including measurements of sulphate, nitrate and ammonium in precipitation and sulphate, nitrate compounds and ammonia in the aerosols. CO2 measurements are performed in the Gulf of Finland on board of ferry between Tallinn and Helsinki twice a day.

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