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Global Warming: Travelling by Car Increases Global Temperatures More Than Travelling by Plane

Laxenburg, Austria – The study, published in the journal ‘Environmental Science & Technology’ by a team of researchers from Austria and Norway, compares the impacts on global warming of different means of transport. The researchers use, for the first time, a suite of climate chemistry models to consider the climate effects of all long- and short-lived gases, aerosols and cloud effects, not just carbon dioxide, resulting from transport worldwide.
In the long run, the global temperature increase from a car trip will on average be higher than from a plane journey of the same distance. However, in the first years after the journey, air travel increases global temperatures four times more than car travel. Passenger trains and buses cause four to five times less impact than automobile travel for every kilometer a passenger travels. The findings prove robust despite the scientific uncertainties in understanding the earth’s climate system.

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