It is very hard to estimate, but there must be millions of aircraft in the world, hundreds of thousands flying every day. What effect does that have on the world weather? What is its effect on global warming?...Very little is said about it because it is a huge money machine and eats up millions of tons of gasoline, profitable for the multi- national oil companies.(Ric)
for example O'hare Airport, Chicago:
In 2008, O'hare airport had 881,566 aircraft operations, an average of 2,409 per day (64% scheduled commercial, 33% air taxi, 3% general aviation and <1% id="cite_ref-FAA_0-1" class="reference" style="line-height: 1em; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; ">O'Hare International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 69,353,654 passengers passing through the airport in 2008; a -8.96% change from 2007. O'Hare also has a strong international presence, with flights to more than 60 foreign destinations. O'Hare was ranked fourth in 2005 of the United States' international gateways, with only John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, Los Angeles International Airport and Miami International Airport, serving more foreign destinations.
A Call to Regulate Aircraft Emissions
Call to Regulate Aircraft Carbon Emissions
A coalition of environmental groups, states and regional governments filed petitions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today urging the agency to address the effects of vast amounts of global warming pollution from the world's aircraft fleet. The petitions are the first step in a process that requires the EPA to evaluate the current impacts of aircraft emissions, seek public comment and develop rules to reduce aircraft emissions or explain why it will not act. Earthjustice filed the environmental groups' petition on behalf of Friends of the Earth, Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Also filing petitions today are the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut and New Mexico, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (Southern California), the City of New York, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the District of Columbia.
Aviation's Contribution to Global Warming Aircraft emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide. In fact, they currently account for 12 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. transportation sources and three percent of the United States' total carbon dioxide emissions. The United States is responsible for nearly half of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft.
Aircraft also emit nitrogen oxides, known as NOX, which contribute to the formation of ozone, another greenhouse gas. Emissions of NOX at high altitudes result in greater concentrations of ozone than ground-level emissions. Aircraft also emit water vapor at high altitude that forms condensation trails or "contrails." Contrails are visible cloud lines that form in cold, humid atmospheres and contribute to the warming impacts of aircraft emissions. Moreover, the persistent formation of contrails is associated with increased cirrus cloud cover, which also warms the Earth's surface.
Together, these high altitude emissions have a greater global warming impact than if the emissions were released at ground-level. A recent report by the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Protection found that the net effects of ozone, contrail and aviation-induced cloud cover is likely to triple the warming effect of aircraft-emitted CO2 alone. The report concludes that if these estimates are correct and the anticipated growth in aviation realized, aviation may be responsible for between six and ten percent of the human impact on climate by the year 2050.
Aircraft Emissions Expected to Triple by Mid-Century Greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft are anticipated to increase substantially in the coming decades due to the projected growth in air transport both domestically and globally. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. domestic aircraft are expected to increase 60 percent by 2025. Globally, aircraft emissions are expected to more than triple by mid-century. While some countries have already begun to respond to these challenges, the United States has failed to address this enormous source of emission