Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Promoting Pollution Prevention Through Information Exchange
GLRPPR Sector Resource: Evaluating the Importance of Aviation on Climate Change
The effects of aircraft emissions on the current and projected climate of our planet may be the most serious long-term environmental issue facing the aviation industry. Projections suggest that over the next several decades, the demand for aviation could grow substantially. This projected growth will likely result in higher aviation emissions and associated impacts on the environment, human health and welfare. However, there remain large uncertainties in our present understanding of the magnitude of climate impacts due to aviation emissions. The climatic impacts of aviation emissions include the direct climate effects from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor emissions, the indirect forcing on climate resulting from changes in the distributions and concentrations of ozone and methane as a consequence of aircraft nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, the direct effects (and indirect effects on clouds) from emitted aerosols and aerosol precursors, and the climate effects associated with contrails and cirrus cloud formation. To enable the development of the best strategy to mitigate these climatic impacts scientists must quantify these impacts and reduce current uncertainties to enable appropriate action. The only way to ensure that policymakers fully understand trade-offs from actions resulting from implementing engine and fuel technological advances, airspace operational management practices, and policy actions imposed by national and international bodies is to provide them with metrics that correctly capture the climate impacts of aviation emissions. This presentation is aimed at discussing the present state of knowledge of climatic impacts of aviation, examining the key underlying uncertainties and gaps in our scientific knowledge, and to identify and to make prioritized recommendations for the research necessary to resolve the important issues.
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) holds an annual series of seminars, usually one or two per month, presented by researchers, policy makers, and corporate executives on various topics related to Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment. This series is an opportunity to share scientific research with peers in a relaxed, informal environment. Seminars usually last about an hour and questions are welcome. The seminars will be from 12:00 to 1:00 PM CST in the Stephen J. Warner conference room at the ISTC headquarters. A link to a live video feed will be posted on the Sustainability Seminars page of the ISTC web site approximately 15 minutes before the start of each seminar. Windows Media Player 9 (or newer) as well as a broadband internet connection is required to view the feed. Those watching the webcast live will be able to submit questions via e-mail and have them asked at the end of the presentation. Video and slides from previous seminars are archived on the ISTC web site and are available within a few days of the seminar's completion.
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