Paris (AFP) – A sharp rise in shipping emissions in east Asia is killing tens of thousands of people in the region every year and adding to global warming, a study said Monday.

The manufacturing and export hub has the world’s fastest-growing rate of particle and carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from shipping emissions, it said.

This is likely to grow as China pursues a policy of reviving the ancient Silk Road trade with Europe — yet very little is known about the damage done by east Asia’s shipping emissions.

A team of Chinese and American scientists used records of more than 18,000 vessels observed in the region in 2013 to calculate emissions and their likely effect.

They found that ship traffic in east Asia more than doubled since 2005.