When you look at fuel consumption for a trip across the country, a car with a single occupant uses as much fuel and produces as much carbon dioxide as jet full of passengers. With jets there are added negative environmental factors. More and more communities surrounding major airports are seeing an increase in cancer due to the toxic fumes from jet fuel.
Fortunately, more and more airlines are becoming pro active in their approach to cleaning up the environment. Some are even publishing annual environmental reports to let the public be aware of their efforts. Airplane and engine manufacturers are also taking steps to make their products more fuel-efficient.
Yes, mostly because airplanes are up high in the sky. The pollutants get right into the upper atmosphere, without having any delay time. The particulates that are expelled by jet in its con trail quickly form clouds and ice crystals. High clouds have a lot of impact on incoming solar radiation.
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