Stark warning over airline jet gases
GREENHOUSE gases from jet airliners can remain in the atmosphere for well over 100 years, a leading pollution expert warned today.Carbon dioxide released by planes can remain in the air for more than a century, said Dr Paul Upham from the Tyndall Centre which studies the effects of air pollution.
By Paul Geater
GREENHOUSE gases from jet airliners can remain in the atmosphere for well over 100 years, a leading pollution expert warned today.
Carbon dioxide released by planes can remain in the air for more than a century, said Dr Paul Upham from the Tyndall Centre which studies the effects of air pollution.
Oxides of nitrogen which contribute to air pollution can stay in the atmosphere for several weeks or even months and water vapour given off as contrails will fall to earth as rain sooner than that.
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Dr Upham said the pollutants given off by planes flying at above 5,000 feet can get carried long distances by air currents.
He said: “The gases that are released by planes flying over Suffolk could easily come down eventually in Germany, the north of England or over the sea, depending on the wind direction.”
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Dr Upham said it did not make much difference where the carbon dioxide was released in the atmosphere - it could all cause serious damage.
Air pollution in most serious in the immediate vicinity of airports where emissions can have a direct effect on air quality, but everyone is affected by atmospheric pollution.
Across the European Union aircraft emissions account for about three per cent of the carbon dioxide pushed into the atmosphere.
However despite improved aircraft design, increased flights mean the amount of emissions is expected to double by 2030 - by which time emissions from motor vehicles and industry is expected to be falling.
Some experts predict that aircraft emissions will be the largest single contributor to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2020.
Government is encouraging a dramatic increase in air travel - and that will have huge consequences for Suffolk's skies and the communities which live below them.
More than 1,200 planes currently cross Suffolk every day and the number is set to grow hugely - possibly double - in the next two decades
The planes bring noise, pollution, and blot out the sun with their contrails, and the fear is flights will get lower.
Our campaign agrees with and supports Stansted Airport at its current flight and passenger limits, but is against expansion of the airport which will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.
It is against proposals to increase the number of passengers by ten million a year on possibly 75,000 extra flights, and against the building of a second runway which would more than double the current flights - another 300,000 a year.
The campaign wants a full review of pollution being caused by the jets - both the impact on ozone layer and on the environment at ground level - and of the increasing noise being caused by the aircraft 24/7.
We want assurances that planes will not be allowed to fly lower than the present lowest levels across Suffolk.
There must also be a full review of the current flightpaths to look at the possibility of moving flight corridors on a regular basis so the same communities do not suffer noise nuisance incessantly.