Chapter 33: Transportation: Shipping

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Focus Shipping delivers huge numbers and amounts of goods to consumers worldwide, whether that be through container ships full of automobiles, tankers full of oil, or trawlers full of fish. Despite being such a central component of the global economy, shipping is not regulated by the Kyoto Protocol, and recent studies project that shipping will produce between 400 Mt and 1.12 Gt of CO2 by 2020, which would be more than aviation and up to 4.5% of global CO2 ( This chapter focuses on the need for shipping to change in a carbon-sensitive world and possible changes that would allow shipping to reduce its environmental impact while still delivering increasing amounts of goods efficiently worldwide. Synopsis Since oceans cover approximately 70% of the Earth's surface, the development of shipping was inevitable. In addition to allowing human communities on different land masses to engage in the crucial activity of trading commodities such as spices and gold, shipping nucleated the cross-fertilization of groups by transporting people as well. These activities have grown over time to the point that shipping now transports over 90% of the total goods worldwide. In fact, this amount is still growing as international trade continues to expand [1].

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationFundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability
EditorsD. S. Ginley, D. Cahan
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780511718786
ISBN (Print)9781107000230
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Materials Research Society 2012.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5200-54153


  • environmental impacts
  • shipping
  • transportation


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