It’s about #MoreThanCO2! 🌍🔥✈️
In 2018, air traffic caused 5.9% of global heating because its climate impact is three times that of the emitted CO2 alone.
Why is that so - and what can we do about it?
Let us explain: a thread. ⬇️
The total climate impact of aviation is 3 times that of its CO2.
Burning kerosene at altitude also generates contrails, induced cloudiness & NOx derivatives that, although short lived, contribute substantially to global heating.
Read our new fact sheet: https://stay-grounded.org/fact-sheet-climate-impact/
In September, 21 scientists prominent in the field published a reassessment taking into account the effective radiative forcing (ERF) of non-CO2 components. They conclude that today’s total climate impact of aviation is about 3x greater than the CO2 alone. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231020305689?via%3Dihub
To date, the accumulated CO2 together with the short-lived non-CO2 components which reappear everyday that flights continue, has contributed about 3.5% to the total anthropogenic global heating (historic emissions), one third from CO2 and two thirds from non-CO2.
This is immense, especially when considering that this impact is caused by a very small portion of people who actually fly: over 80% of the global population have never taken a flight while the top 10% of global income earners use 75% of air transport fuel.https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/3/20/21184814/climate-change-energy-income-inequality
The share of air traffic in CO2 emissions alone accounted for 2.9% in 2018. This is the result of jet fuel consumption plus the emissions generated during its production and transport.
Cutting air traffic reduces non-CO2 climate impacts immediately.
If air traffic were reduced, then the short-lived non-CO2 impacts would similarly decrease and the reduction in heating would be equivalent to withdrawing large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Apart from the needed reduction in flights, it is also possible to eliminate or reduce some of aviation's non-CO2 contributions to global heating through operational or technological improvements:
What needs to de done:
1. Non-CO2 impacts have to be fully accounted for by the industry, by institutions and governmental bodies and by UNFCCC within the framework of the Paris Agreement.
2. Known measures to mitigate non-CO2 impacts, such as contrail avoidance and the adoption of lean-burn low NOx engines, must be pursued immediately in addition to CO2 mitigation.
3. Research and development of operational and technological improvements that give the reduction of non-CO2 impacts as much importance as those of CO2 must be intensified and funded. https://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=2733
4. Air traffic must not be allowed to return to pre-Covid levels. Accordingly, bailouts, subsidies, tax exemptions, and the construction and expansion of airports must cease and measures for a sustained reduction of flights and for substituting alternatives must be implemented.
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