Avoiding night-time flights can help to lower aviation’s impact on climate
Choosing to travel by air during daylight hours can lessen your trip’s impact on the environment, according to a new study released by the University of Leeds in the UK. Night flights are twice as bad for the climate as those during the daytime, the study finds. This is because of the differing effects of the aircraft condensation trails, otherwise known as contrails – the trails of condensed water vapour created by the exhaust of aircraft engines. Like clouds, contrails trap heat, but during the day they also reflect sunlight back into space, helping to cool the planet’s temperature. If a country like the UK moved all of its night flights to the daytime it could save around 2.5% of its carbon dioxide emissions, the study concludes.
The Daily Green
[pictured: Contrails above the US, photographed by NASA]