April 14th According to the World Daily, the giant cargo ship Longci had previously run aground on the Suez Canal. In addition to causing the canal to be blocked for nearly a week and affecting global shipping, satellite observations also found that the incident caused “serious pollution” over the canal at that time.
When the cargo ship ran aground, it reportedly forced hundreds of other ships trying to pass through the Suez Canal to be trapped, causing the concentration of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the air on the canal, on the Mediterranean side, to “up to five times normal levels”.
According to the report, sulfur dioxide is a by-product of marine engine fuel oil, which may have harmful effects on the environment and human health. From 23 to 29 March, hundreds of ships anchored on the Mediterranean side at the northern end of the canal. Although the main engine was shut down, equipment such as the auxiliary power devices of these ships were still in operation, causing the EU Sentinel-5P satellite to observe the accumulation of sulfur dioxide in the local atmosphere.
Experts pointed out that the concentration of sulfur dioxide rose sharply due to the stranding incident, which caused a large number of ships to gather in one place at the same time. When the Suez Canal was restarted and a large number of ships passed through, the peak sulfur dioxide concentration disappeared.