Carbon is just one of the many harmful gases that airplanes leave behind.
Airliners are a source of soot, water vapor, nitrogen oxide, ozone, methane and other substances polluting the planet. Together, all of them cause a greenhouse effect that can heat the Earth by 0.4 °C in the coming years.
A group of scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the German Climate Service Center said that with so many pollutants, reducing carbon emissions alone is useless.
While measures to combat the impact of aviation on the climate will not take into account the full composition of the ecological footprint of airliners, this will not affect global warming in any way, experts say.
To test their hypothesis, the researchers created a computer model to assess the impact of airliners on the climate. It turned out that about 90% of the negative impact of aviation was not associated with CO2.
This means that the danger of airliners will persist even if the industry manages to lead to carbon neutrality.
The absence of CO2 in aircraft emissions does not make them completely “green”, since emissions of other substances — methane, nitrogen, ozone, etc. — still accompany air travel. Therefore, according to scientists, it is necessary to deal with emissions in a complex.