The shipping industry produces more pollutants than the airline industry. The shipping pollutants tend to stay around the surface whereas the airplane pollutants are miles up in the atmosphere. Both airplanes and ships produce trails of pollutants, “contrails” and “ship tracks”, both create clouds which have a cooling effect on the earth. In terms of just carbon though, the shipping industry is the winner, though the bigger concern is sulfur. Sulfur leads to acid rain and other serious environmental issues.
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