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GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of driv

Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:39 pm

Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of driving
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/0 ... sivak.html
Greenhouse gas emissions were examined for 17 nonstop flights with round-trip distances ranging from 131 miles to 19,040 miles. Among these flights were the three most frequently flown routes in the United Sates (New York to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to San Francisco, and Chicago to New York); the shortest flight that is code shared with a major U.S. airline (San Francisco to Santa Rosa); the longest flight within the continental United States (Seattle to Miami); and the longest flight in the world (New York to Singapore).

Average greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide equivalent) per passenger from flying were obtained from an online emissions calculator at myclimate (a nonprofit spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). The myclimate estimates include not only the direct emissions from the combustion of jet fuel, but also the indirect emissions, such as those from refining and transport of the fuel, by adding 16% of the direct emissions. Furthermore, myclimate accounts for other warming effects of aircraft emissions (through changes in the ozone layer, initiation of contrails, formation of cirrus clouds, etc.) by adding an amount that corresponds to the direct portion of emissions. (A documentation for the myclimate calculator includes other aspects of the method used.)

The present calculations of the emissions per distance used the shortest flight distances as listed at Web|Flyer. The results for flying economy class are shown in the table below. The entries in the table are in decreasing order of distance flown. . . .

Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per passenger for a round trip flying economy class range from 390 pounds for the shortest examined flight to 13,892 pounds for the longest flight.

Emissions per passenger mile flying economy class follow a U-shaped function. The minimum among the 17 flights examined—0.65 pounds per passenger mile—is for a flight with a one-way distance of 2,720 miles, which turns out to be the longest nonstop flight within the continental United States. (This is consistent with an estimate from the Worldwatch Institute that the most fuel-efficient distance is around 2,670 miles.)

As the flight distance decreases from 2,720 miles one way, emissions per passenger mile increase. For the shortest flight examined (66 miles one way), emissions increase 4.6 times to 2.98 pounds per passenger mile.

Analogously, as the flight distance increases from 2,720 miles one way, so do emissions, but much more gradually. For the longest flight in the world (9,520 miles one way), the emissions per passenger mile are 0.73 pounds (12% greater than for the flight with the minimum emissions). . . .

The above data are for flying economy class. Because flying first class increases the amount of space per passenger, emissions increase substantially for first-class flying. (Also, first-class passengers tend to carry more luggage, and the first-class seats are substantially heavier than the economy-class seats.) For the examined 17 flights, myclimate estimates that first-class emissions increase about 3 times for all flights that are 1,940 miles or longer one way, and about 2.5 times for all flights shorter than 1,940 miles.

How do greenhouse gas emissions from flying compare with emissions from driving? It turns out that, in the United States, the occupants of light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans) annually contribute, on average, 7,958 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent. . . .

This calculation used the 2017 values for the direct emissions of all greenhouse gases from the combustion of fuel by all light-duty vehicles (2,421 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent), the number of persons with a driver’s license (225,346,257), and the average number of occupants in light-duty vehicles (1.674). Furthermore, indirect emissions, such as those from refining and transport of the fuel, were included by adding 24% of the direct emissions.

The average annual carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per occupant of a light-duty vehicle (7,958 pounds) are about the same as the emissions per passenger from a round trip from San Diego to Frankfurt flying economy class (7,938 pounds), or from a round trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles flying first class (2,646 pounds times 3 equals 7,938 pounds). . . .
Includes the table referenced above, much more. Not news to anyone who's read "Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air" (free online at https://www.withouthotair.com/ See Chapter 5 and Technical Chapter C). I last flew in 2001, for this and other reasons (none of which were related to 9/11), and only plan to do so for bucket list items or emergencies unless I can do so using 100% sustainable jet fuel.

It's also why I support high-speed electrified or H2/FCEV rail for inter-regional trips up to about 400 miles, even if we royally screwed that up here in California. The NE corridor is the obvious place where HSR makes the most economic sense in the U.S., but there are some other corridors with enough traffic to justify building it.
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golfcart
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:54 am

Damn, that makes it harder to mock the flyover state folks for their lack of passports and in-state vacations...
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rmay635703
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:43 am

And if you fly in a small prop plain you blanket everyone with lead dust

LeftieBiker
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:19 pm

Electric short-hop planes are just arriving at some air carriers now. Personally, I haven't flown since 1985 or '86.
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GRA
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:05 pm

GCC:
MIT team finds aviation emissions’ impacts on air quality larger than on climate
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/1 ... 1-mit.html


Apparently a 2:1 ratio.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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Nubo
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 pm

The plane doesn't know whether you're sitting in First-class or Economy. I'm not inclined to discover the rest of their logic.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:36 am

The plane uses X gallons of fuel for the trip. X can be divided between relatively few 1st class passengers or many more passengers in economy. At the extreme, you have a private jet. Surely the impact from flying a plane with one passenger is higher than a fully loaded plane, at least on a per-passenger basis.

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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:05 pm

Flying isn't an egregious carbon emissions sin based on passenger miles per gallon, it's horrific because the distances traveled are so much greater than just about anyone would tolerate via other means of (surface) transportation.
A friend of mine travels to Europe and back 15+ times per year. He said it's ok though, he pays extra for offsets. Apparently the effects of extracting and burning ancient hydrocarbons on the climate can be negated by giving someone some money.
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Lothsahn
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:53 pm

LTLFTcomposite wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:05 pm
Flying isn't an egregious carbon emissions sin based on passenger miles per gallon, it's horrific because the distances traveled are so much greater than just about anyone would tolerate via other means of (surface) transportation.
A friend of mine travels to Europe and back 15+ times per year. He said it's ok though, he pays extra for offsets. Apparently the effects of extracting and burning ancient hydrocarbons on the climate can be negated by giving someone some money.
If they take that money and install solar panels that prevent a coal fired power plant from burning an equivalent amount of hydrocarbons, yes, it can.

If they just scam you and pocket the money, no it can't.
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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:21 pm

But can what they collect for the offset actually buy enough solar production to displace the massive carbon emissions from the jet travel? I'd like to see the math on that.

Looks like the power companies are switching to renewable-gas turbine hybrid plants anyway just on economics. Didn't we hear a while back that transportation has surpassed electricity generation in carbon emissions?

I'd bet on the pocket-lining outcome, certainly skimming a large percentage. Never one to believe in indulgences anyway.
LTL
White 2012 SV delivered 10 Dec 2011 returned 25 Nov 2014 replaced with stopgap ICE Sentra
[35 months] [35K miles] [9 Bars]
2013 Volt replaced after 36 months/30k miles with ICE Rogue
2016 SV-adjacent May 2016 lost 4th bar March 2018

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