Scientists Take Closest Look Yet at Warming Impact of Aviation Emissions

“A new study reaffirms that contrail clouds produce more global warming than carbon dioxide, a finding that could help in the reduction of emissions from air travel.”

“An international team of prominent scientists has published what they say is the most comprehensive study to date calculating the complex climate impact of aviation emissions, reaffirming that contrail clouds produce more warming than carbon dioxide.

This kind of comprehensive analysis has only been performed a handful of times, starting with a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1999. The new study, looking at data from 2000 to 2018, notes that while the understanding of the impacts of aviation emissions “remains incomplete,” a series of new calculations considered “factors not previously applied in a common framework.”

“We wanted to produce a very high-quality benchmark assessment,” said David Lee, a climate scientist at Manchester Metropolitan University, who led the study and was also part of the IPCC assessment.”

Leto Sapunar reports for InsideClimate News September 18, 2020.