Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Aviation fuel use set to rocket despite better engine efficiency

Greenhouse gas emissions from commercial air travel is a major contributor to global warming emitting approximately 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2012 alone. 

A new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (icct) (www.theicct.org) Fuel efficiency trends for new commercial jet aircraft: 1960 to 2014 has explored the fuel efficiency in relation to UN targets.

It shows that  aviation fuel use, including military aircraft, quadrupled between 1960 and 2006.  While most countries are agreeing to 80% reductions in emissions by 2050, aviation fuel use is expect to increase by 300% over the same period.  The report explores how efforts to increase fuel efficiency of aircraft is continuing having already achieved an annual rate of reduction of 1.3% since 1968. Between 1968 and 2014 the average fuel burn of new aircraft fell approximately 45%, or a compound annual reduction rate of 1.3%. However, the efficiency of new aircraft are still a decade behind the United Nations’ fuel efficiency goals for new aircraft.

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