Jet Fumes Climate Change Warning Issued By IATA
30 April 2024
Spread the love

Urgent Call for Action on Aviation Contrails and Climate Impact

Geneva, April 30, 2024 – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued a pressing call to deepen understanding and develop effective mitigation measures for aviation contrails’ formation and climate impact. In their newly released report, *Aviation Contrails and their Climate Effect: Tackling Uncertainties and Enabling Solutions*, IATA emphasizes the need for enhanced collaboration between research, technological innovation, and policy frameworks.

“The industry and its stakeholders are working to address the impact of non-CO2 emissions on climate change, particularly contrails. To ensure that this effort is effective and without adverse effects, we must better understand how and where contrails form and shrink the uncertainties related to their climate impact,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The report underscores the complexity of contrail science, pointing out significant gaps in understanding their formation, persistence, and impact on climate. Insufficient high-resolution, real-time data on atmospheric conditions at cruising altitudes, particularly humidity and temperature, poses a significant challenge to precise contrail forecasting.

“Action now means more trials, collection of more data, improvement of climate models, and maturing technologies and operations. Formulating and implementing regulations based on insufficient data and limited scientific understanding is foolish and could lead to adverse impacts on the climate,” Walsh added.

– Immediate Term (2024-2030): Focus on reducing CO2 emissions while increasing airline participation in sensor programs and improving climate models.
– Mid-Term Actions (2030-2040): Establish standards for data transmission, validate models continuously, and encourage aircraft manufacturers to include provisions for meteorological observations.
– Longer-Term Actions (2040-2050): Ensure continuous data provision from aircraft, enhance understanding of non-CO2 effects of alternative fuels, and extend mitigation measures.

Background on Aviation’s Non-CO2 Emissions:
Aviation’s impact on climate extends beyond CO2 emissions, with contrails and nitrogen oxides contributing to global warming. Contrails, in particular, have a warming effect on the climate, but significant uncertainties exist in predicting their formation and specific climate impact.

Initiatives and Trials:
Recent collaborations have yielded insights into the need for enhanced data collection and analysis. Trials with modified flight paths and alternative fuels have shown potential, but efficacy remains limited due to atmospheric variability.

Technological Advances and Future Directions:
Advancements in humidity sensors are critical for contrail prediction and avoidance strategies. Ongoing research aims to develop more accurate and scalable solutions.

About the Report:
Aviation Contrails and their Climate Effect* is available on IATA’s website and will be discussed at the upcoming IATA Annual General Meeting in Dubai, 2-4 June. The report was developed in collaboration with various organizations and companies, highlighting the industry-wide effort to address the climate impact of aviation.