Evaluating the climate impact of aviation emission scenarios towards the Paris agreement including COVID-19 effects
Journal article, 2021

Aviation is an important contributor to the global economy, satisfying society’s mobility needs. It contributes to climate change through CO2 and non-CO2 effects, including contrail-cirrus and ozone formation. There is currently significant interest in policies, regulations and research aiming to reduce aviation’s climate impact. Here we model the effect of these measures on global warming and perform a bottom-up analysis of potential technical improvements, challenging the assumptions of the targets for the sector with a number of scenarios up to 2100. We show that although the emissions targets for aviation are in line with the overall goals of the Paris Agreement, there is a high likelihood that the climate impact of aviation will not meet these goals. Our assessment includes feasible technological advancements and the availability of sustainable aviation fuels. This conclusion is robust for several COVID-19 recovery scenarios, including changes in travel behaviour.

Author

V. Grewe

Delft University of Technology

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

ECATS International Association

Arvind Gangoli Rao

Delft University of Technology

ECATS International Association

Tomas Grönstedt

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics

ECATS International Association

Carlos Xisto

ECATS International Association

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics

Florian Linke

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

ECATS International Association

Joris Melkert

Delft University of Technology

ECATS International Association

Jan Middel

ECATS International Association

Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR)

Barbara Ohlenforst

ECATS International Association

Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR)

Simon Blakey

ECATS International Association

University of Sheffield

University of Birmingham

Simon Christie

Manchester Metropolitan University

ECATS International Association

Sigrun Matthes

ECATS International Association

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Katrin Dahlmann

ECATS International Association

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Nature Communications

2041-1723 (ISSN)

Vol. 12 1 3841

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Energy Systems

Climate Research

DOI

10.1038/s41467-021-24091-y

PubMed

34158484

More information

Latest update

6/30/2021