ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

CMV Inventory Development, Validation and Application to Emerging Policy Analysis

James Corbett, Ph.D. and Chengfeng Wang, University of Delaware

April 18, 2005
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


This seminar will present a brief summary of recent work on behalf of ARB to evaluate accuracy of current marine vessel emissions estimation methods. Specifically, this work evaluated apparent differences between inventory estimation methodologies, atmospheric predictions, and field observations, and concluded that agreement between emissions calculated using published emissions rates and monitored stack test results is relatively good. The results show that improved emission inventories are consistent with monitoring results; however, emissions rates derived from in-plume observations demonstrated greater disagreement with published emissions rates. Nonetheless, good agreement between monitoring and modeling emissions rates helps confirm that differences between inventory estimates and in-plume observations are likely a result of complex chemical processing within ship plumes. These insights support development of better regional CMV inventories, spatially resolved and appropriate for modeling fate and transport to estimate the contribution of shipping activity to air quality and health impacts. The presentation will also outline planned work to produce updated regional inventories of CMV emissions, including forecasting emissions under various scenarios including the designation of SOx Emission Control Areas (SECAs) under international maritime conventions. The presentation will invite dialogue about the strengths and limitations of regional CMV inventories, and their value to the scientific and policy analysis of mitigation strategies.

Speaker Biography

James Corbett, Ph.D., has a degree (1999) in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and currently is an assistant professor in the Marine Policy Program at the University of Delaware's Graduate College of Marine Studies. His research has focused on transportation and environment, specifically international maritime transportation and pollution issues, domestic policy issues related to the Maritime Transportation System (MTS), science and technology policy related to coastal and transportation systems, and interdisciplinary technology-policy decision-making. His current projects include environmental and energy performance measures in multimodal transportation, ship emissions assessment (SEA) including local, regional, and global impacts, technology-policy assessment of shipboard pollution and emission-reduction alternatives, and evaluation of public-private incentives to reduce emissions from regional ferries (Federal Transit Administration). He has published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers on air pollution from marine vessels, including articles in Science and Nature.

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