International Aviation’s Link to Climate Change Backgrounder

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International Aviation’s Link to Climate Change Backgrounder

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Emissions from aviation number among the top 10 largest sources of global carbon emissions. The sector is now the 7th biggest emitter, producing more pollution than either Canada or South Korea but less than Germany. Aviation accounts for approximately 2% of world carbon emissions.  However, aviation’s impact on atmospheric warming and climate change is not only confined to its carbon emissions: aircraft emit non-carbon greenhouse gases (like NO2) and heat water vapor to the atmosphere, generating significant warming feedbacks or radiative forcing particularly over shorter timescales. Taking these CO2 and non-CO2 impacts into account, aviation accounts for an estimated 4.9% of global greenhouse gases.

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