Aircraft vapour trails increase global warming-Report
boost their emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and still halve their impact on global warming. That is the paradoxical conclusion of a new study into the effects of commercial aviation on the environment.
The CO2 emitted from their engines is not the only way aircraft affect climate.
They also do so through their contrails, the long trails of water vapour and ice that form in an aircraft's wake and which can persist for several hours.
Contrails trap heat in the atmosphere by reflecting infrared radiation emitted from the Earth's surface.
In 1999, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), calculated that contrails from the world fleet of 12,000 civil airliners contribute as much to global warming as the CO2 their engines pour out as they burn jet fuel.