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Changing flight path can help curb climate change: Study

Last Updated: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 11:51

Washington: A new study has revealed that aviation could become more environmental friendly by re-routing their paths.

The research found that aircraft contribute less to global warming by avoiding the places where the thinly shaped clouds, called contrails, are produced by them even if that means flying further and emitting more carbon dioxide.
Just like natural clouds, contrails reflect some of the Sun`s incoming energy, resulting in a cooling effect, but also trap some of the infrared energy that radiates from Earth into space, therefore having a warming effect.

The findings suggest that policymakers need to consider more than carbon emissions in discussions about how to make aviation less environmentally damaging.

The researchers have estimated that smaller aircraft can fly much further to avoid forming contrails than larger aircraft.
Dr. Emma Irvine said that if they can predict the regions where contrails will form then it might be possible to diminish their effect by changing flight`s path to avoid them.

The study is published in IOP Publishing`s journal Environmental Research Letters.

First Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 11:51

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