Published in the journal Nature, the research suggests that a significant decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions in 2020, following the implementation of new international shipping fuel regulations, has led to a "termination shock." This could potentially increase the world's ocean temperatures by 0.16 degrees Celsius (0.29 degrees Fahrenheit) over seven years, thus accelerating global warming significantly.

EU ministers debate on maritime pollution rules EU ministers debate on maritime pollution rules

The scientists explain that sulfur dioxide, emitted from burning high-sulfur fuels in ships, reacts with water vapor in the atmosphere to form aerosols that reflect sunlight back into space. These aerosols also enhance cloud cover, providing a cooling effect on the oceans. By reducing sulfur dioxide emissions, they argue, more solar energy has been reaching the ocean surface. The authors also propose that their findings highlight the potential of geoengineering technologies, such as cloud brightening, which some researchers believe could be used to mitigate global warming.

Editor: Kemal Can Kayar