back to article Longer flights burning more fuel can cut planes' climate impact

British scientists have suggested that the world's airlines could cut their climate impact – by flying further and therefore burning more fuel. The seemingly-paradoxical claim is based on a calculation of the climate impact of contrails on the world's climate. The researchers suggest that rather than simply calculating the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. dan1980

    Interesting, but of little consequence

    Questions like this always, always come down to which option is cheaper/more profitable for the company and what is easier for governments.

    Taxing fuel is simple so that is what governments like. Taxing based on the actual environmental impact is far too difficult so there will be no incentive for an airline to burn more fuel, which is taxed, to avoid producing contrails, which are not.

    1. Thorne

      Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

      What is cheaper is using less fuel. There is no real way to measure contrails so to suggest using more fuel could to save contrails is a waste of time.

      Finally how long do contrails last for verses CO2 in the air?

      The small bump from contrails is nothing compared to the co2 in the air.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

        Thorne, I think you may have missed a couple of points.

        1) The small amount of CO2 on the atmosphere is responsible for the increased plant growth that is making the planet overall greener.

        2) The greenhouse effect of CO2 pails into complete insignificance when compared to water vapour. The only reason the watermelons chose to demonise CO2 is because it is easy to tax - there is no other valid reason.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

          "2) The greenhouse effect of CO2 pails into complete insignificance when compared to water vapour."

          And the few volts going through the switching part of a lathe motor relay pales into insignificance compared to the 415 volts going through the main part so clearly it has no effect on what the relay does.

        2. NomNomNom

          Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

          A few years back NASA demonstrated that without the warming from CO2 the atmosphere would be too cold to hold much water vapor. So as Boltar says, it's CO2 that controls the greenhouse effect with water vapor acting as an amplifier.

          http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

            And yet, and yet, there's those pesky ice ages in eras when CO2 was over 2000ppm...

            You want to know what drives climate? Look at the oceans. The atmosphere is a thin dribble of gas on top of that huge heat engine. Its temperature isn't set by the fraction of a trace gas changing by a few parts per million, but by the heat stored in all that water.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

              When CO2 was over 2000ppm the Sun was fainter. More CO2 was needed back then just to keep temperatures above freezing.

            2. boltar Silver badge

              Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

              " Its temperature isn't set by the fraction of a trace gas changing by a few parts per million, but by the heat stored in all that water."

              Oh for gods sake, look up the word equilibrium then get back to us.

          2. boltar Silver badge

            Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

            " it's CO2 that controls the greenhouse effect with water vapor acting as an amplifier."

            I think you're wasting your time. It seems they can't grasp the simple concepts of positive & negative feedback.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

              If the earth's temperature were driven by positive feedbacks we wouldn't be here to argue about it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

        I have to say that this all seems a little far fetched. Imagine stretching a few strings across a bowl of hot water. The strings impact on the evaporating water is almost zero.

        We'd be far better off banning illuminated advertising, to give one easy example.

    2. icetrout

      Re: Interesting, but of little consequence

      what ever happened to the hole in the O-zone... lol... did it fill up with co2... ?

  2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Global Cooling

    During the days just after 9/11, it was supposedly observed that the lack of commercial air traffic led to surprisingly clear skies. An ah-ha moment that aircraft contrails do more good than harm. The Global Cooling hypothesis. So now, 12 years later, we've arrived at the opposite conclusion? More harm than good is it? Theory do jour. Sigh...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Boffin

      Re: Global Cooling

      "During the days just after 9/11, it was supposedly observed that the lack of commercial air traffic led to surprisingly clear skies. "

      What 9/11 did do (on 9/12) was ground all US flights, allowing researchers to find out exactly what the effect of a no contrail sky would be, something they had viewed as impossible to get approval for.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: allowing researchers to find out exactly what the effect

        I heard somewhere that weather =/= climate. But I guess that only applies to deniers, not Warmists.

    2. malcolmus_rex

      Re: Global Cooling

      You're right that there was an observed warming over the US after 9/11, indicating that the contrails had a cooling impact (e.g. http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081231/full/news.2008.1335.html#B1 ).

      It's worth pointing out that this is not inconsistent with the results of this study, or convential climate science.

      As explained in the article, the impact of contrails can be either a cooling by reducing the amount of sunlight (SW radiation) reaching the ground, or a warming due to the interception of infrared (LW) radiation leaving the Earth.

      The SW effect is strongest during the day, especially in the Tropics or in Northern/Southern hemisphere in their respective Summers.

      The LW impact is occurring all the time, all day and throughout the year. It is stronger over warm surfaces where there is more upwelling LW to start with. It dominates over the SW effect at night, and in Winter.

      The impact of both the LW and SW effects are reducing by the precence of other natural clouds. This is hard to determine though, as some contrails grow into large sheets of cirrus clouds, which wouldn't have formed without an initial contrail to get them started (because ice clouds need to an ice nuclei to get them started).

      The balance of the impact of contrails depends very strongly on their spatial and temporal distribution, which means that adding up these two impacts is quite hard to do.

      The researchers in this case have tried to do this, and shown that the net impact is a warming. This is consistent with previous studies.

      September, over the US, is only just in the Autumn/Fall, so there's still a lot of sunlight coming in and the SW cooling dominated over the LW warming. If the same thing had happened in January or Febuary then it's very likely that there would have been a warming.

      Because of the seasonality there could be a more nuanced message than just 'avoid contrails', which is what comes across in the Reg(+other) article. That would be to seriously avoid contrails in Winter in mid-latitudes, but that contrails in Summer or the Tropics are OK.

      The paper in question doesn't actually say 'avoid all contrails' but instead "We have developed a simple framework to enable the trade-off between contrail and CO climate impacts to be estimated for a single flight.". So they've developed a methodology to see which contrails should be avoided, and which ones aren't.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. NomNomNom
          Trollface

          Re: Global Cooling

          "What 9/11 did do (on 9/12) was ground all US flights, allowing researchers to find out exactly what the effect of a no contrail sky would be, something they had viewed as impossible to get approval for."

          So you are saying 9/11 was actually perpetrated by researchers who had become frustrated they couldn't get approval to ground planes.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Global Cooling

            "So you are saying 9/11 was actually perpetrated by researchers who had become frustrated they couldn't get approval to ground planes."

            Well obviously once you put all the clues together...

            Pardon me while I add a little more tinfoil to my headgear.

  3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Boffin

    CO2 lasts decades?

    What does that actually mean?

    The seasonal variation in atmospheric CO2 is clearly visible as a sawtooth pattern superimposed on the long term trend. This is caused by the difference in plant respiration as the seasonal growth patterns affect northern and southern growth cycles differently. Also this can be affected by differences in man made fuel consumption for heating purposes, differing between the hemispheres.

    Typically, process parameters that follow driving inputs this closely (there appears to be about a three month lag), will respond just as quickly to a change in the long term inputs. That means if we can turn the slope of the long term CO2 production downwards, the atmospheric concentration will follow with a time constant of months, not decades.

    Simple control systems theory. The model makers need to go back to the drawing board to find where that 'decades' aphorism came from.

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Meh

      Re: CO2 lasts decades?

      Somebody should google the carbon cycle. All it would take is for the topsoil to increase in depth by 1/100th of an inch to remove all the "man made" CO2 from the atmosphere.

      1. Martin Budden

        Re: CO2 lasts decades?

        How do you propose increasing topsoil depth?

        1. breakfast

          Re: CO2 lasts decades?

          My local garden centre seems to have quite a lot. So maybe if we went to all the garden centres we could just buy enough for that kind of increase.

          I'm amazed SCIENCE hadn't come to this conclusion already. Must be some kind of conspiracy at work.

        2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
          Terminator

          How do you propose increasing topsoil depth?

          Well! Recycling politicians, lawyers, marketing wonks, etc... could be a good place to start.

          Might not have much carbon cycle impact but it sure as hell would make the world a nicer place to live.

        3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: CO2 lasts decades?

          "How do you propose increasing topsoil depth?"

          Pay the world's poor to turn plant matter into charcoal, then mix it into the local soil. Or tip the captured carbon into an old mine shaft.

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: CO2 lasts decades?

      "Typically, process parameters that follow driving inputs this closely (there appears to be about a three month lag), will respond just as quickly to a change in the long term inputs."

      I don't know anything about "simple control systems theory" but your argument is just unsound from the point of view of logic. I can think of any number of examples where your argument would fail.

      For example a bath of water in which water is being added so that it's water level slowly increases over time. Add waves that make the water level fluctuate at any given point. Now you would say that those rapid fluctuations in water level mean that if we stopped adding water to the bath the water level would rapidly fall! But in fact the rapid fluctuations in water level clearly tell us nothing about how fast the water level would fall if the water stops being added.

      I think the mistake you've made is you've coined an argument that assumes the cause of the short term cycle and the longterm increase are the same.

      And in the case of CO2 the cause of the longterm increase is not the same as the cause of the seasonal cycle. The draw down in seasonal CO2 is caused by plants uptaking more CO2. The longterm increase is caused by humans injecting CO2 into the system. If humans stop injecting CO2 into the atmosphere it does not imply that plants will suddenly go into some hyper mode where they draw it all down in months (and where's it going to go?)

      "Simple control systems theory. The model makers need to go back to the drawing board to find where that 'decades' aphorism came from."

      Sure and the experts are utterly clueless. Fortunately some guy on a forum on the internet knows better. How arrogant.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: CO2 lasts decades?

        "I don't know anything about "simple control systems theory" but your argument is just unsound from the point of view of logic. I can think of any number of examples where your argument would fail.

        For example a bath of water in which water is being added so that it's water level slowly increases over time. Add waves that make the water level fluctuate at any given point. Now you would say that those rapid fluctuations in water level mean that if we stopped adding water to the bath the water level would rapidly fall! But in fact the rapid fluctuations in water level clearly tell us nothing about how fast the water level would fall if the water stops being added."

        Well, there's an example of 'bad logic'. Waves in a bathtub aren't the same as the volume of the tub. But let's use the bathtub analogy: The volume of water in a tub depends on the difference between the inflow and outflow, integrated over time. Today, CO2 is being added at a slightly higher rate than it is being removed (seasonal variations aside for the moment). But the lifetime of the water in that tub could be relatively short, if the flow rates are high compared to the tub's volume. Reduce the inflow slightly or increase the outflow and the tun will drain quickly. And this is what we are seeing with the Keeling Curve. The atmosphere responds rapidly to seasonal changes in inflow/outflow rates.This is evident by the downward slope of the sesonal variation. So the lifetime of carbon in the atmosphere is low. The mechanisms that absorb CO2 (the outflow) don't differentiate between CO2 from a coal fired generator and a moose exhaling.

        Plants won't have to go into 'hyper mode' to absorb the CO2. They are already doing a good job. All we need is for the inflow to drop below the outflow rate and the system will respond quickly. It is working that way today. I don't know whether that means we need to stop burning coal or shove giant corks in all the volcanoes. That's a different argument.

        "I think the mistake you've made is you've coined an argument that assumes the cause of the short term cycle and the longterm increase are the same."

        The causes of the inflow/outflow aren't what I'm questioning. Its the ability of the system to respond quickly to change in the net flow. And the evidence indicates that the atmosphere will respond quickly.

        "Sure and the experts are utterly clueless."

        No. The 'experts' have an agenda. Chemistry, physics and meteorology were not enough to study the problem. We had to go and invent 'atmospheric science'. Which evidently can't keep straight whether contrails have a net warming or cooling effect. Actually measured following 9/11, so trying to switch the models around have no credibility if they can't explain that data point. Or the at-sci people figure out how to ground all aircraft again for a week to gather new data. At any rate, atmospheric science lost its credibility when researchers were threatened with loss of tenure, funding and students' degrees would be in jeopardy for questioning the discipline's dogma.

        The last time science challenged this kind of status quo, people were burned at the stake. If CO2 really does persist for such a long time in the atmosphere, we might still be inhaling the remains of people who told the Church that the Earth orbited the Sun.

  4. EvanPyle

    I think I have read this before, something about con trails, global warming and mind control/autism rings a bell.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Seriously?

    "...if aircraft were to generate fewer contrails, a tiny bit of steam would be taken out of “chemtrail” conspiracies."

    This statement has GOT to be tongue in cheek. NOTHING of the sort would occur! Fewer 'chemtrails' would be interpreted in some new and twisted way, probably only driving things further along. We aren't discussing the open-minded, after all. Get real, Richard.

    1. dan1980

      Re: Seriously?

      @Big John

      Indeed - the complete lack of UFO evidence is merely proof of how well the government is covering it up/in-cahoots with aliens/run by lizards. Likewise less contrails would be proof that the government had found even more nefarious methods to crop-dust their citizens.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        Obviously: an absence of contrails is definitive proof that they're being actively hidden.

        1. theblackhand

          Re: Seriously?

          Hiding the contrails is an added bonus - the longer journeys allow a wider coverage area.

          My tin foil hat has a wide brim to protect me from the chemicals....

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Absolutely agree.

      Nothing ever takes steam out of conspiracy theories. Ever.

      1. dan1980

        Where's the real birth certificate?!

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    For larger aircraft, the alternative route could still be preferable, but only if it added less than 60 miles to the journey

    <60 Miles? Really? I'd love to see the plotted route vs the standard route. My guess is that someone ran the numbers without ever looking out a window or actually checking with the real world on air routes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I read that and had the same sort of thought. I've been on London - Boston flights which have gone out via Scotland and over the lower end of Greenland before flying down over Quebec and over Vermont before landing in Boston. That was done to miss a large storm on the East Coast and excessive head winds.

      The usual route is out over South Wales and a straightish run and then down the Maine Coast.

      So if 60 miles is the limit then the whole thing is a complete and utter waste of time.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Jet Stream

        Can impact flights to and from the US/Canada. The position of the Jet Stream is also important for the Weather people.

        A recent flight from London to Denver was 45 mins shorter on the return than the outbound leg.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jet Stream

          I've left Boston over 1 hour later than scheduled and have arrived in London so early that the plane has had to power down on the taxiway and be pulled by tractor to the gate.. Tail winds tend to be stronger west to east but having said that I've also been on a Boston flight from London which arrived over 45 mins early

          1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Jet Stream

            Puh. We flew out of Hong Kong last year, and we arrived in Toronto before we'd even left.

      2. amanfromearth

        You need to research Great Circle routes. There is no "straitish run" on a spheroid.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Which is why I said straightish rather than straight. What I was trying to say is that as a routine flight can have such widely differing routes then a 60 mile difference limit is not pratical

  7. king of foo

    stupid question...

    Plants turn co2 into oxygen, fruit, nuts and vegetables, right?

    So why isn't the so called green taxation used to plant trees and plants everywhere? An airline should plant thousands of trees every year.

    We could be buying back all that rainforest that keeps getting chopped down, couldn't we?

    We could employ the empoverished people forced to chop it down to do the planting...

    Or have I misunderstood again?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: stupid question...

      Your plan is too simple and there's nothing there for the Greens, Climate Scientists, or politicians to make a bit of money from. Ok.. the Greens might go for it....

    2. mourner

      Re: stupid question...

      No, no misunderstanding. The carbon cycle is complex when studied in micro-detail, so complex in fact that it would be fair to say we have but a basic grip on it and it's interaction with the climate of this planet.

      But on the macro level planting lots and lots of carbon capturing devices (lets call them trees) - which seems somewhat easier than trying to capture the carbon as it exits smoke stacks on fossil fuelled electricity stations, then sequestering somehow - makes a great deal of sense.

      Unfortunately - the areas of the globe that are good for growing trees very quickly and in a high density are not in the areas of the globe that are burning stuff to produce electricity.

      So... yeh, good idea, sadly politics, tax, arbitrary lines drawn on a map, human tribalism (be that religion or regional or pantone shade) and stubborn fuckwittery will doom us all.

      My, my - I now understand why Nero fiddled while his empire went up in smoke. That thought does not calm me.

    3. Martin Budden
      Happy

      Re: stupid question...

      I do this with my car. I (pay someone else to) plant trees to offset the CO2 which comes out of my car's exhaust. It is surprisingly cheap to do: for less than the cost of one tank of petrol I can offset an entire year's worth of petrol use.

      http://www.greenfleet.com.au

      There are even a couple of new native forests near where I live which have been planted by this scheme :-)

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: stupid question...

        yeah, planting trees doesn't actually trap CO2. The rainforests are actually carbon-neutral That's due to the annoying fact that 100% of the carbon in a tree is released as C02 as it decays and rots (or as the critters that chomped on it decay). But at least planting trees make nice forests in which people can go have fun with their dirtbikes, AWD gaz-guzzlers etc ;-)

        The only real way to trap CO2 is plankton, as the dead things drop in anoxic waters in which the carbon stays in solid form. To a (much) smaller extent, marshes do trap carbon too, for the same reason. But not forests.

        1. rh587 Bronze badge

          Re: stupid question...

          "yeah, planting trees doesn't actually trap CO2."

          Yes. And no.

          If you have a deforested area that you plant up, it will become a carbon store. Sure, individual trees will rot and cycle, but a forest ties up a lot more carbon compared to an open grassy plain or arable field.

          Additionally, if you harvest it for building, furniture, etc, that carbon won't rot - in the case of hardwood it could last centuries if it's part of a decent building or worthwhile furniture (my parent's house contains 300 year old beams). In the case of wood getting mulched for engineered beams, those sorts of buildings don't tend to last as long before the next fad, but it still keeps the carbon locked up for a few decades longer than it otherwise would have, lengthening the cycle. It's not permanent storage (nothing is), nor does it put it back into the oil-bearing strata from whence it came, but it lengthens the cycle.

          Of course offsetting for building usage assumes it's replacing something dirtier (in terms of embodied energy/carbon) like replacing a steel framework with wood or something.

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: stupid question...

            > but a forest ties up a lot more carbon compared to an open grassy plain or arable field

            Not that much more, and it's very little. It's about 15% of the weight of trunks; the rest is mostly water. From back-of the envelope estimates, planting a tree a day would offset roughly the "carbon footprint" of the very act of planting it (given reasonnable values for growing saplings, transportation, the energy you put in it which means you need to eat, etc). Of course by planting thousands at a time you may scavenge more than you produce, but not much. Not much at all.

            As for wood as a construction material, that's so low in terms of carbon storage as to be negligible; plaster and concrete, by comparison, are made in large parts from the shell of small marine organisms, i.e. carbon dioxide that was taken from the atmosphere and combined with calcium. Quite a lot of it, much more (by volume) than wood. Same as plastic which is made from dead organisms. Yet no-one in their right mind would pretend that building in plastic, plaster and concrete offsets your "carbon footprint" (quite the contrary in fact, you'd be burnt at the stake by envirotype for suggesting that, and they would not be wrong).

            If you really want to scavenge large quantities of CO2, I'm afraid you'll need to take it permanently (or at least durably) out of the carbon circle. And the only way to do that in large quantities is marine microorganisms at present (then they become petrol and natural gas and it all goes back to the atmosphere via the guts of your hummer, but that's a considerably longer cycle, on that timescale that we can't even begin to fathom climate cycles, given that our model consistently produce previsions that fail to materialize in as little as 5 years)

            1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

              Re: stupid question...

              BTW i don't disagree with you on the fact that planting trees is good, for all kinds of thing; it's just not a very efficient way of trapping CO2.

    4. cyfahead

      Re: stupid question...

      Perfect proposition.. and has already been suggested by our erudite colleague it won't happen if there is nothing in it for the countries perpetrating the crime. Unless of course those countries suffer a paradigm shift that makes them law-abiding despite their nefarious nature. This amounts to us putting OUR laws where OUR morals are. This requires OUR politicians and industry leaders to put THEIR money and power where THEIR mouths are.

      So let's work out for THEM how the green taxation can be spent in ways that cycle back into profits for the payers of the tax, or those of their industrial associates and to the benefit of their political power pawns... after all the taxation didn't cost them anything. It was paid by us through higher cost airline tickets. They only whinge 'cos they don't get a profit slice out of collecting it. So a bit of horizontal and vertical integration is needed here. Buy into GE firms and farms producing billions of luxuriant fast growing oil producing plant seedlings for multiple climate types, airlifting them to targetted eco-types with high availability of low cost labour, in a massively hyped international development aid prject that creates 'lots' of independant cash cropping 'farmers' and agro-support SMB's, downstream agro-product processing SMB's who sell back aviation fuel to the donor countries. This will create a relatively few farm and SMB owners and millions of pretty poor wage-slaves who will then be encouraged to spend their little earnings on consumption of goods and credit from the countries consuming the fuel they produce. The new wage earners will forget how to subsist and their 'industries' will forget how to make household durables for them in favour of making and importing consumer durables to do the the same thing... for short periods of usefulness.

      Full employment will never be reached, wages will stay internationally low and the airline industry, and their countries, will have effectively gained three things - a fuel subsidy, green fuel and many new profit streams. All out of harnessing the sweat of foreign re-directed 'indentured' labour through our knowledge on how to do so. We used to call this IMPERIALISM, now we call it International Trade and Development. Both are models whereby the cheap labour of the less-privileged many permanently subsidise the expensive labours of the greatly privileged few. They say it works so don't knock it. So let's just do it. Tell ourselves and our mates how moral and benevolent we are. Our planes will soon enough become dependent on green aviation fuel. Soon after that someone amongst the 'growers' will realise that they have been enslaved and will start throwing rocks or worse around, and will appeal to the immorality of our actions based on the precepts of their foreign' religion. For us the moral question is clear.. their complaining now endangers the national security of ourselves and hence of international peace since we will be 'forced' to send in the troops to 'help' the SMB owners that we created to set up a 'properly constituted' government that is friendly to our interests and to re-establish 'peace and order'. If that doesn't work we can always abandon them and move our oil growing to another country and another 'development aid' project.. it is after all 'in our national interest'.

      Yes, my dear 'King of Foo' you did misunderstand. But no worse than any of the electorate of any OECD nation. No worse than most of their politicians. Some business leaders know exactly what is going on. We need a new and realistic human socio-economic model to work to. Then we can develop really valid solutions to our really serious problems.

  8. Alister Silver badge
    Joke

    The researchers suggest that ... airlines could change routes to avoid the weather conditions that lead to increased contrails.

    Contrails form in cold, moist air, and are caused either by the condensation of water vapour in the engine exhaust, or by the turbulence at wingtips causing water vapour in the air to condense.

    So, no flights allowed over the UK, then...

    1. boltar Silver badge

      "So, no flights allowed over the UK, then..."

      If only. I've lost count of the number of times a beautiful blue summer sky has been turned into a hazy white mess by endless aircraft. I'm not against flying per se , but honestly , the number of aircraft flying over SE england is just getting out of hand. Its about time some limits were set and if that means the Waynes & Waynettas have to give Ibiza a miss for one year then tough.

      1. smartypants

        ...and another thing!

        I've lost count of the number of times a beautiful blue summer sky has been turned into dark grey mass of rain clouds by endless changes in the weather.

        I'm not against changes in the weather per se, but honestly, the number of rain clouds flying over SE England is just getting out of hand.

        Its about time some limits were set and if that means the trees and crops have to give getting watered a miss for one year then tough.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: ...and another thing!

          "I've lost count of the number of times a beautiful blue summer sky has been turned into dark grey mass of rain clouds by endless changes in the weather."

          Right, because man has as much control over air transport as he does over the weather.

          Idiot.

    2. Nuke
      Holmes

      @Alister

      Wrote :- So, no flights allowed over the UK, then...

      Good. In just two or three decades we have deleloped a culture of flying anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, consuming vast amounts of energy and releasing vast amounts of CO2 in the process, mostly out of curiosity, for shopping, to attend international conferences on bullshit, and migrants going back and forth on family visits.

      I have heard people recommending going to Abu Dhabi just "because the shops are fantastic", and have worked with people who spend most of their time at, or going to, or organising international conferences - an incestuous closed world with no interaction with the rest of us whatsoever.

      I am sure it is a temporary phase. Fuel will become too expensive to keep burning it on this circus.

  9. 9Rune5

    Cut the trees

    Basically the article is discussing clouds.

    A paper published about two months ago claims that forrests are one of the main sources of condensation and resulting clouds.

    So, now that we know that clouds are bad, mmokay, we can safely conclude that we should cut down all trees.

    Problem solved.

    Me thinks we should rethink our belief that a warmer climate is a bad thing.

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Cut the trees

      "Me thinks we should rethink our belief that a warmer climate is a bad thing."

      Tell that to the people in Australia who've had a marked increase in bushfires due to dry conditions or the people in central india having to cope with temps getting near 50C. Its easy to say a few degrees warming doesn't matter if you live in a comfy temperate climate where an extra degree or 2 just means you can get the BBQ out a bit earlier.

      1. Rastus

        Re: Cut the trees

        One hotter year than others, a trend does not make!

  10. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Devil

    Contrails?

    You mean the nasty chemtrails, made of 47% refined evillium, 58% pinkokomium, and 29% mindcontrollium? These chemtrails:

    www.chemtrailsprojectuk.com ?

    No wonder the mind-controlled alien-governed scientists would push to make them less visible, they know we're on to them. etc...

  11. Def Silver badge

    Reducing emissions

    If you really want to tackle emissions from aircraft, then simply enact the following:

    Make it illegal for two (or more) airlines to fly the same route at the same time of day with smaller aircraft. The number of times I've seen a competing airline to the one I'm flying with flying to the same destination as mine five minutes before (or after) my flight. Both airlines would save money and reduce emissions if they were forced to share seats in a single, larger plane.

    1. rh587 Bronze badge

      Re: Reducing emissions

      They already do. You can book a flight from Chicago to Winnipeg with about 3 different airlines. However, when you get to the gate, you're all getting on the same service regardless of who's logo is printed on your ticket or painted on the side of the plane.

      That's why the likes of Star Alliance exist.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Reducing emissions

        Some airlines share planes, but not all of them, which is my point. I still see multiple airlines flying smaller planes along the exact same route at the same time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "... caused by burning dinosaurs..."

    I know it's fun to say things like dino-juice but it just isn't true so can we stop pretending it is?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      You must be new here.

  13. Andy 97
    Paris Hilton

    See...that Greenpeace bloke was right!

    Usually I treat this kind of thing with skepticism, but if it's good enough for a Greenpeace Director, it's good enough for a sanctimonious, environmentally-friendly person too.

    Coming next: how staying at home means we all win!

    Paris; because I miss her world of wisdom.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With billions of tons of clouds in the sky, it's hard to believe that a few aircraft vapour trails can have any kind of significant effect whatsoever.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With billions of tons of clouds in the sky it seems inconceivable that a few aircraft vapour trails could have any significant effect whatsoever.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      "With billions of tons of clouds in the sky"

      Altitude may make a difference as to how a cloud contributes to warming/cooling.

  16. cortland

    Say

    "burning dinosaur food," not "dinosaurs."

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019