Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
White wispy trails across the blue sky on a sunny day are one of the few attractive features of air travel. But they have a darker side, especially at night. For the condensation trails produced by the exhaust from aircraft engines are creating an often-invisible thermal blanket of cloud across the planet.
Though lasting for only a short time, these “contrails” have a daily impact on atmospheric temperatures that is greater than that from the accumulated carbon emissions from all aircraft since the Wright Brothers first took to the skies more than a century ago…