Increased marine shipping through Arctic waters may accelerate climate change in the world’s northern regions, according to US and Canadian researchers.

The study, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, estimates that 2% of current global ship traffic will be diverted to the Arctic by 2030 and that the figure could rise to 5% by 2050.

The report predicted that soot from ship exhausts is expected to increase warming by 17-18%.

The study found that approximately 80% of soot comes from man-made sources and 20% from forest fires.