Air travel emissions are high, and only getting worse

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States appear to be on the rise again after years of decline. The Rhodium Group this week released preliminary estimates showing carbon dioxide emissions overall surged 3.4 percent in 2018, with the transportation sector leading the way as the largest source of emissions for the third year in a row. Interestingly, the bump in transportation emissions didn’t come from cars. Car travel increased compared to 2017, but gasoline consumption decreased. That’s in part because overall fuel economy in passenger cars is improving as engines become more efficient and electric cars become more popular. Instead, emissions from trucking and air travel helped contribute to the overall increase: Demand for both diesel and jet fuel increased about 3 percent in 2018, Umair Irfan reported for Vox.com.

Jan 11th, 2019
Air travel emissions are high, and only getting worse
Air travel emissions are high, and only getting worse
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States appear to be on the rise again after years of decline. The Rhodium Group this week released preliminary estimates showing carbon dioxide emissions overall surged 3.4 percent in 2018, with the transportation sector leading the way as the largest source of emissions for the third year in a row. Interestingly, the bump in transportation emissions didn’t come from cars. Car travel increased compared to 2017, but gasoline consumption decreased. That’s in part because overall fuel economy in passenger cars is improving as engines become more efficient and electric cars become more popular. Instead, emissions from trucking and air travel helped contribute to the overall increase: Demand for both diesel and jet fuel increased about 3 percent in 2018, Umair Irfan reported for Vox.com.

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The Intelligent Aerospace take:

January 11-According to Ifran's reporting, U.S. carriers did not perform as well as international competitors on emissions efficiency in 2018 with Alaska Airlines finishing the highest for American carriers at 22nd. The highest-ranking legacy carrier is United, who placed 50th. As fuel is the largest expense for airlines, going green could help push them farther into the black. That will, of course, take some sizable investments by the airlines. Boeing's 787 and Airbus' A350 are considerably more fuel efficient than previous generation's passenger planes. With demand for air travel soaring (no pun intended) carriers will have to take the initiative to balance emissions with more people taking to the skies.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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