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Contrails and climate change

Plague

Active member
I read a BBC news item a couple of weeks ago about the apparent effect of contrails on global warming. They act like clouds in letting energy in to the ground but then trapping it. They think it's a significant effect.
Contrails: How tweaking flight plans can help the climate

I was a bit surprised that they could have such an effect, but I recall that there was a significant change in atmospheric conditions during the no-fly period after 9-11, so I probably shouldn't have been.
Anyway this morning I saw this, which made me think "Yeah, they probably aren't wrong":
PXL_20211105_101805537~2.jpg
This was taken near Southampton, south England, looking north.

I don't know if Kelsey could make anything out of this, though I think he has enough tiktokkers to keep him going for now :)
 

Roichi

Active member
As contrails are basically artificial clouds, they have an impact. Not the most important and not even major, but an inpact nonetheless.
 

Plague

Active member
the CO2 emissions,
That's something that surprised me - they reckon changing flight profiles to avoid producing contrails will still be a significant benefit even though it will increase fuel burn a little.
 

Sean

Active member
That's the beauty of science: we study interesting things, sometimes without caring about the big picture. I guess we can ask airlines to adjust their daily routes to hit the sweet spot minimizing the contributions of CO2 emissions and contrails, and whatever other factors make it look like "we're doing something about climate change" -- and they'll probably do it. It's a small effect to chase, non-direct (i.e., non-CO2 and other greenhouse gas) contributions are roughly 2% of the problem, and contrails are only part of that 2%. But we do like Security Theater, so we might as well play at Climate Change Theater, too.

PS -- How does it affect the airlines' bottom line? Does reducing contrails lower fuel costs?
 
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I read a BBC news item a couple of weeks ago about the apparent effect of contrails on global warming. They act like clouds in letting energy in to the ground but then trapping it. They think it's a significant effect.
Contrails: How tweaking flight plans can help the climate

I was a bit surprised that they could have such an effect, but I recall that there was a significant change in atmospheric conditions during the no-fly period after 9-11, so I probably shouldn't have been.
Anyway this morning I saw this, which made me think "Yeah, they probably aren't wrong":
View attachment 242
This was taken near Southampton, south England, looking north.

I don't know if Kelsey could make anything out of this, though I think he has enough tiktokkers to keep him going for now :)
Cool photo! Kelsey may be busy keeping up with his impersonators on TikTok + making videos about their falsehoods,+ taking cool selfies to share with us!
 
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