On September 26th 2013, CATE published a research report, “Climate impacts from aviation 2020 Carbon Neutral Goal: stabilized emissions but increasing radiative forcing and temperatures”.
The full report can be found here.
Principal investigators included:
The simulations from this study show that even if all the aviation CO2 emissions stabilize, the radiative forcing and temperature responses never stabilize but inexorably increase.
Prof. David Lee commented, “Unfortunately, CO2 has very long and multiple lifetimes – what this means, for example, is that if a tonne of CO2 is released, 30% is removed in a few decades, 50% is removed over a few centuries, and the remaining 20% is only removed over millennia. So, stabilization of emissions in the general scheme of things is not enough, and we know this from the science and have shown this in previous reports of the IPCC and UNEP. So, physics is against us, and dramatic reductions of overall global CO2 are needed in order to stabilize temperature increases by 2100. The question is what role is aviation going to play in that overall climate objective, and how?”