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What emits more carbon? Direct or connecting flights?

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2019 22:25 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 2 (ANI): A researcher at the University of Texas, San Antonio has conducted a study to understand how flight routes are impacting the amount of air pollution.
Published in the journal Annals of Tourism, the research has revealed that flights on direct routes tend to outperform connecting routes in carbon emissions.
"This paper provides one of the first efforts to quantify the carbon emissions associated with tourist travel">air travel in the continental United States," explained Neil Debbage, assistant professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability in UTSA's Department of Political Science and Geography.
Researchers wanted to comprehend if non-stop rotes to the tourist places can lessen the travel">air travel carbon emissions as compared to those going on connecting routes.
Using International Civil Aviation Organization data, USTA researchers analyzed carbon emissions for direct and connecting routes between the 10 most-populated metropolitan areas in the north-eastern United States (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) and 13 different tourist destinations located in the Sunbelt and Western regions of the United States (Bexar County, Texas; Los Angeles County, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; etc.).
The findings put forth that nearly half of the routes analyzed exceeded an individual's annual mobility carbon budget for all forms of transportation.
Moreover, direct routes tended to outperform connecting routes regarding carbon emissions.
Another startling discovery was that on average the difference between direct and connecting routes was equivalent to operating a refrigerator for an entire year (or roughly 100 carbon dioxide kg/person).
The majority of direct routes in the database generated carbon emissions below the 575 carbon dioxide kg/person annual mobility cap.
"One potential tactic to mitigate the carbon footprint associated with tourist travel">air travel is to select nonstop routes whenever possible," suggested Debbage.
The researchers said they hope this paper will help policymakers consider making new initiatives that accelerate technological innovations regarding aircraft fuel usage, jet engines and jet fuel. (ANI)