Study: Getting the S out of jet fuel may cool the climate

This study from Yale University  seems contradictory to what we know about aerosols. Generally more aerosols like SO2 cool the climate, but in this case they are saying “it’s offset by the cooling effect of nitrate that forms from nitrogen oxides in jet exhaust.” Interesting.

Contrails from a Qantas Boeing 747-400 as it passes over Moscow at 11,000 metres (36,000 ft) Image: Wikipedia

Removing sulfur from jet fuel cools climate

A Yale study examining the impact of aviation on climate change found that removing sulfur from jet fuel cools the atmosphere. The study was published in the October 22 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

“Aviation is really important to the global economy. We better understand what it’s doing to climate because it’s the fastest growing fossil fuel-burning sector and there is no alternative to air travel in many circumstances. Emissions are projected to increase substantially in the next two decades—by a factor of two—whereas projections for other sectors are expected to decrease,” said Nadine Unger, the study’s author and assistant professor of climate science at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Particles of sulfate, formed by burning sulfur-laden jet fuel, act like tiny mirrors that scatter solar radiation back into space. When sulfur is removed from the fuel, warming occurs but it’s offset by the cooling effect of nitrate that forms from nitrogen oxides in jet exhaust. The result is that desulfurization of jet fuel has a small, net cooling effect.

In 2006 the United States introduced an ultralow sulfur standard for highway diesel, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is interested in desulfurized jet fuel for its potential to improve air quality around airports. Aircraft exhaust particles lodge in the lungs and cause respiratory and cardiovascular illness. In 2006 there were more than 31 million flights across the globe, according to an FAA emissions inventory.

“It’s a win-win situation, because the sulfate can be taken out of the fuel to improve air quality around airports and, at the same time, it’s not going to have a detrimental impact on global warming,” she said.

Unger used a global-scale model that assessed the impact of reducing the amount of sulfur in jet fuel from 600 milligrams per kilogram of fuel to 15 milligrams per kilogram, which is the level targeted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The study also simulated the full impacts of aviation emissions, such as ozone, methane, carbon dioxide, sulfate and contrails—those ribbons of clouds that appear in the wake of a jet—whereas previous studies examined each chemical effect only in isolation.

“In this study we tried to put everything together so that we account for interactions between those different chemical effects,” said Unger. “We find that only a third of the climate impact from aviation can be attributed to carbon dioxide.”

Unger also ran a simulation of aviation emissions at the Earth’s surface and found that the climate impact is four times greater because the emissions occur at altitude in the upper atmosphere.

“The chemical production of ozone is greater in the upper troposphere and its radiative efficiency is greater,” she said. “It’s a stronger greenhouse gas when it’s higher up in the troposphere, which is exactly where aviation is making it.”

###

The paper, “Global Climate Impact of Civil Aviation for Standard and Desulferized Jet Fuel,” can be found at http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl1120/2011GL049289/.

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71 thoughts on “Study: Getting the S out of jet fuel may cool the climate

  1. Scientist who said climate change sceptics had been proved wrong accused of hiding truth by colleague http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html
    Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming http://fxn.ws/mPQKmD
    NASA Data Blows Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism http://t.co/7UuUC5k
    Govt scientists admit to tweaking global warming findings to get funding http://ow.ly/5kKRP
    Their “Global Warming” Hysteria Is Wrong, Per Latest NOAA Data – U.S. Cooling Last 15 Years http://t.co/j2Qzap4
    Global Warming Consensus was only 75 scientists worldwide http://bit.ly/eq5GBK
    Princeton Physics Professor: Global warming really population-control movement http://bit.ly/4wx7fR
    Top Science Panel Caught in Another Global Warming Data Fraud http://bit.ly/fQJQKC

  2. “The result is that desulfurization of jet fuel has a small, net cooling effect.”
    They think it has a cooling effect. Does reality agree?

  3. Interesting stuff. I have a host of questions that can only be answered by examining the paper all these models. Perhaps it is just the press release language but I do not get the impression that these “climate effects” are important as they do seem to be rather small and for CO2 getting even smaller.

  4. In other words… We conjecture, that this will effect other conjecture. Which will result in additional conjectured effects. Those effects will have a conjectured impact on the economy and health.

  5. I did some digging the other day. I found that Tynsdall who proved greenhouse warming did so back in 1859, NOT 1959. What sort of scientific replication has been done since then to prove or disprove. In a lab?

  6. Sounds like not everything was taken into account in their computer model. (Duh.)
    Engine manufacturers have been working on reducing nitrogen oxides, and thus nitrates, for quite a while, and with good success. They aren’t going to get near as much ‘beneficial’ cooling from nitrates as they expect.
    Sulfur removal is just another added expense to air travel.

  7. Unger used a global-scale model…
    The study also simulated…
    Unger also ran a simulation…
    Models and simulations followed by illogical pragmatic statements… where do we know that from?

  8. Well, of course, there are alternatives to jet travel, but thanks to that idiotic Titanic film, people are a little leery of vast passenger liners. Same with rigid airships. Technology exists to make both modes of travel much safer than 80-100 years ago, but we have become used to the convenience of regularly scheduled, low-density air travel.
    Ironically, I can foresee a gradual decline in air travel as it is currently done to an “on-demand” model, where the plane doesn’t leave until the seats are filled, along with a simple decline based on fuel prices and a lessened need for business travel in an increasing age of “telepresence” and virtual networks. Climate change might not enter into those equations, or at least not as the driving (no pun intended) consideration. Jet travel may become a niche industry, like paper book publishing, which we are seeing today.

  9. So nitrogen oxides out of my Jeep’s tailpipe are bad but the same thing in jet engine exhaust is good? I’ll just put a jet engine in my Jeep and help cool the planet.

  10. You can write a lot of papers based on the various effects you observe in a climate model. The models are all wrong(*), so all of these papers are wrong as well, and all of the inmates in these institutions waste their talent and time and taxpayer’s money. Peer-reviewing each other, tapping each other on the back, giving advice to policymakers, all wrong. Hey, I observed a wiggle in the climate model, let’s tax shipping! today; let’s abolish flying! tomorrow. Hey, what about eating vegetables on mondays. What an insane cult.
    (*)=because they did not predict anything correctly, obviously.
    (*) I searched for the word “observations” in the text but somehow I missed it.

  11. Why is it that when I read the words “model” and “climate” in a study, I immediately question its credibility?

  12. I suspect this is all very negligible in the big picture, but the author is right about sulfur being nothing but a pollutant when burned at ground level. So remove it, if economical.
    OT, and raging through Warmists email alerts:
    Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-sea-ice-releases-deadly-greenhouse-gas-6276134.html
    Yeah. i know. It has been there for millions of years. It is near surface natural gas field.

  13. “We find that only a third of the climate impact from aviation can be attributed to carbon dioxide.”
    I find that a full 0/3 of climate can be attributed to aviation, and of that total, 100 per cent can be attributed directly to CO2, 50 per cent of which is offset by the cooling caused by sulfur.

  14. If the net result is cooling, it sounds like the EU’s attempt to tax air travel CO2 is not only misguided but wrong as well. I propose we increase air travel by ten fold and take advantage of the cooling effect. Problem solved!

  15. M. Dacey says:
    December 14, 2011 at 9:28 am
    “Ironically, I can foresee a gradual decline in air travel as it is currently done to an “on-demand” model, where the plane doesn’t leave until the seats are filled, along with a simple decline based on fuel prices and a lessened need for business travel in an increasing age of “telepresence” and virtual networks.”
    Air freight miles are exploding.
    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/facts/2006_fcvt_fotw419.html
    You will have to regulate that into oblivion; it doesn’t die voluntarily.

  16. If “desulfurization of jet fuel has a small, net cooling effect,” then by all means do not go to the expense of taking it out, because cooling is a far greater present danger than warming. Spending money to induce cooling is an obvious lose-lose.

  17. “Particles of sulfate, formed by burning sulfur-laden jet fuel, act like tiny mirrors that scatter solar radiation back into space.” So, supposedly, another albedo effect upon the “climate”, although surely a tiny one. The truth is that the scattering of visible light, even by the thick clouds of Venus (as my Venus/Earth temperature comparison clearly shows), doesn’t affect the temperature outside of the clouds themselves, because the atmosphere is warmed by absorption of incident solar infrared, not by absorption of visible light (or infrared light, either) at the Earth’s surface. (Inside the clouds, the presence of liquid particles keeps the atmosphere about 5 degrees cooler than what it would otherwise be, probably simply because such particles have a larger specific heat than the air, thus they don’t warm quite as much as the air does, from the available heat.) This Harvard study is just more “greenhouse effect” modelling garbage, with upside-down atmospheric-warming physics assumed without question, so the truth is they just don’t have a clue what they are doing, thermodynamically. Not only is it pretend climate science, it is pretend basic physics. Since it accepts the consensus, of course, it easily gets published. My Venus/Earth comparison is the definitive, fundamental correction climate science needs–and it should have been done 20 years ago, even by students.

  18. For geoengineering via stratospheric sulfur,
    every jetliner would have sulfur to dump in the exhaust stream
    (not burning through the engine as it does in fuel)
    It’s turned on whenever the jet is above the tropopause.
    The airlines would only charge a half the normal cargo price,
    since it’s gone before the end of the flight.

  19. I don’t want a cooler planet, I want a warmer planet. Right now its freezing outside, and we all know now that global freezing causes more global warming

  20. Latitude asks December 14, 2011 at 9:18 am
    How in this world did so many people get fooled into thinking it’s too hot..

    ~

    Since 1980, overweight and obesity have become an increasing problem in the United States. In 1989, the Surgeon General declared obesity a national epidemic. From 1980 to 1999, the proportion of overweight or obese adults in the United States increased from 47 percent (15 percent obese) to 61 percent (27 percent obese)
    source: CDPHE

    http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/pp/copan/obesity/obesity.html
    In almost any given situation, overweight people are more likely to feel warm than thin folks, simply because the chubby persons are carrying around excess insulation in the form of their body fat. In the summer, many if not most public buildings are air-conditioned to a degree I find uncomfortably cool after a short while, being a skinny guy.
    It is easier to sell the idea of Global Warming to obese people. There are increasing numbers of these overweight and severely overweight people, especially in the USA.

  21. I’ve seen it all now. Alan Grayson’s mug staring at me from the home page of WUWT. I wonder if RC has their Monckton picture up yet.
    UGH!

  22. polistra says:
    December 14, 2011 at 9:27 am
    I assume some major corporation has a sulfur-removal product waiting “in the wings”, so to speak.
    Actually, it’s removed at the refinery via the hydrotreater. Since the ones doing this study are probably not versed in refinery operations, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that they have not factored in that there will be additional CO2 emissions due to the desulferization process. The hydrotreater requires Hydrogen to desulfurize the fuel, which will need to be produced. This will require either the combustion of some of the oil being refined into fuel or natural gas. Either way, further reducing sulfur in jet fuel will necessitate increased CO2 emissions. At best there will be one additional CO2 molecule added per 2 molecules of SO2 reduced. With the actual probably being somewhere between 1:1 and 1:2 CO2 to SO2.

  23. I worked for a short period of time in a lab that was planning on testing diesel fuel with reduced sulphur. It seems you put the fuel in a pan a place a weighted ball on it, and move it back and forth to determine “lubricity”. If you remove too much sulphur, the fuel no longer has any lubrication properties of its own, and can damage engines. If the diesel industry was worried about trucks, I can imagine the damage in airplane engines. Maybe someone knows if my information above is correct.

  24. But, but, but we’re running out of oil right?
    Someone tell the airlines. Someone tell the manufacturers. With a 7 year waiting list just for the Boeing 737 someone needs to do… something.
    Same with boat-building – especially oil tankers. What are they for????

  25. Steve P says:
    December 14, 2011 at 10:16 am
    It is easier to sell the idea of Global Warming to obese people. There are increasing numbers of these overweight and severely overweight people, especially in the USA.
    ___________________________
    Obesity and Global Warming… there’s a correlation in there somewhere.

  26. polistra says:
    December 14, 2011 at 9:27 am
    I assume some major corporation has a sulfur-removal product waiting “in the wings”, so to speak.

    Most refining technology is owned by major oil companies themselves, but there are some companies, like UOP, who do that for a living. However, this technology is older than the hills, and the patents are probably run out by now. All they have left to make any money on is catalyst sales.
    Scratch one conspiracy theory.

  27. 10 days to christmas and I have the heater on full blast NO I am not in the UK I am in sydney my vegy patch has stopped growing bring on global warming

  28. The AGW meme seems to follow a push to do anything possible to increase the price of energy thereby decreasing demand. The EPA will do anything it can to increase it’s influence over energy producers.
    This looks like a good way to do both.

  29. ““It’s a win-win situation, because the sulfate can be taken out of the fuel to improve air quality around airports and, at the same time, it’s not going to have a detrimental impact on global warming,” she said.”
    I think she means:
    “It’s a win-win situation, because the sulfate can be taken out of the fuel generating additional income for the oil company in the process from higher fuel price AND they can then add the sulfur to the fertilizers they make generating income on that side of the process as well from higher fertilizer prices”.
    This is exactly why you see oil companies jumping on the global warming bandwagon, because there is a HUGE amount of money to be made for them.

  30. OT, but worthwhile:

    The headline reads like a piece from the Onion: “U.S. Navy Paying $15/Gallon for Green Fuel.” But it’s real enough.
    It seems that, fresh from its success with Solyndra, the Obama administration is slated to spend $12 million to buy a biofuel/gasoline blend that runs $15 a gallon to power a portion of the Navy’s fleet in a demonstration project.
    “We are doing this for one simple reason,” explained Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, “It makes us better war fighters. Our use of fossil fuels is a very real threat to our national security and to the U.S. Navy’s ability to protect America and project power overseas.”
    [MORE] http://townhall.com/columnists/monacharen/2011/12/13/the_volt_administration

    I don’t know the original source, but it should be easy to find from details in the article

  31. “Studies” like this make me sad. It seems these people believed that since:
    1. A warming atmosphere is bad.
    2. Fuel should have all Sulfur removed.
    Therefore:
    3. Removing Sulfur cools the atmosphere.
    See? It’s easy.

  32. If this study happens to be true, and I make no assumptions on that, doesn’t it mean that aircraft are currently net climate warming agents? If that’s true, presumably they would make more difference near airports, correct? And that means that temperatures around airports would be elevated compared to the rest of the world. Which adds yet another problem to the whole measuring temperatures mainly at airports thing.

  33. Based solely on the PR, it would seem that desulferizing jet fuel would have a fairly large cost/benefit ratio, in terms of improving the climate. I can think of a number of other proposals that have much positive financial and climate results.
    For instance, a rule that from this point forward all confabs by the IPCC, other government environmental bureaucrats, environmental NGOs, climate science academics, alternative energy vendors, politcians, etc. are required to be done via “teleconferencing”.
    For private aircraft, if anyone on the passenger manifest has issued any public statements suggesting that people with far fewer resources than themselves need to modify their lifestyles to their own detriment in order to “save the planet”, the fuel for the flight will be slapped with a 1000% surcharge.

  34. The water trails they leave behind has a much greater cooling effect than any trace component they could remove or add to jet fuel. Remove the artificial clouds that a jet engine makes and you will have a net warming.
    I hate it when I get up on a nice sunny day to see it becoming overcast quickly by noon by jet trails. They ruin my daily dose of vitamin D.

  35. Friends:
    Two years ago on August 17 2009 I provided a guest post on WUWT titled “Stopping Climate Change”. It can be read at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/17/stopping-climate-change/
    My article argued that politicians needed an excuse to stop their attempts at geoengineering the climate by harmful measures intended to limit carbon dioxide emissions. And it suggested;
    “There are several ways to increase cloud cover, for example small amounts of sulphates, dust, salt or water released from scheduled aircraft would trigger additional cloud formation.”
    It went on to say;
    “Each of these options would be very much cheaper than constraining the emissions by 20 per cent for a single year. So, any delay to implementation of emission constraints by use of these options would save a lot of money.”
    And
    “Global temperature has not again reached the high it did in 1998 and has been stable since. But it could start to rise again. If it does then use of one or more of these options could be adopted when global temperature nears 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was at the start of the last century. This would be a cheap and effective counter measure while the needed emission constraints are imposed. Indeed, it would be much cheaper than the emission constraints. It could be started and stopped rapidly, and its effect would be instantaneous (as sunbathers have noticed when a cloud passes in front of the Sun).
    Until then there would be no need for expensive ‘seen to be doing something’ actions such as capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Energy and financial policies would not need to be distorted, and developing countries could be allowed to develop unhindered.
    Importantly it said;
    “Indeed, there would be no need to deploy the counter measures unless and until global temperature rises to near the trigger of 2 degrees C rise.”
    The paper reported above adopts the same idea of cloud modification b y sulphur emissions from aircraft except that it considers the effect of altering sulphur emissions from aircraft in the stratosphere instead of in the troposphere.
    So, my question is
    WHY DOES IT TAKE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS MORE THAN TWO YEARS TO PLAGIARISE FROM WUWT AND THEN TO NOT REFERENCE WUWT IN THEIR PUBLICATION?
    Richard

  36. soylent green:
    somebody made a mistake.
    the navy intends to buy about 450,000 gal of the great grand purple french fry squeezings and pay $12m for it. that comes out to $26…. and change per gallon. not $15.
    even worse news is that the ff squeezings have only 95% of the heat value as the regular navy fuel.
    c

  37. Removing sulfur from jet fuel cools climate
    This seems to fly in the face of the Chinese coal plants, which release sulfur dioxide, are “cooling the planet as CO2 rises” meme.

  38. Jay Davis says:
    December 14, 2011 at 11:01 am
    PowerofX, how many climate models have been right?
    PowerofX I draw your attention to the question posed by Jay Davies. I would like to ask the same question. But in a different form.
    Climate Models have been used to scare people witless over sea level rise, extinctions, famine, drought, pestilence…etc. So my question is:
    How many Climate models have been 100% correct? If the answer you give is less than 100% please point me in the direction of ANY press release which identifies the error and explains to people we should not be worried about the previous press release.
    I ask you Mr/Ms PowerofX because you come to WUWT as an expert, ie, alway telling people they are incorrect.
    Over to you Mr/Ms PowerofX

  39. pk says:
    December 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t doubt it the numbers are worse than we thought!
    I’m disgusted that our military is being used as a test bed for the Green Agenda. National security is not being advanced by that project. Instead, the Defense Department is being misused, allowing the true cost of these boondoggle programs to be hidden in the Defense budget.

  40. email 0552.txt:
    > > > That there is a large potential for a cooling
    > > influence is sort of evident in the IPCC figure about the present
    > > sulfate distribution–most is right over China, for example,
    > > suggesting that the emissions are near the surface–something also
    > > that is, so to speak, ‘clear’ from the very poor visibility and air
    > > quality in China and India. So, the quick, fast, cheap fix is to put
    > > the SO2 out through tall stacks. The cooling potential also seems
    > > quite large as the plume would go out over the ocean with its low
    > > albedo–and right where a lot of water vapor is evaporated, so maybe
    > > one pulls down the water vapor feedback a little and this amplifies
    > > the sulfate cooling influence.

  41. mondo says:
    “December 14, 2011 at 7:38 am
    Willis,
    A very interesting question to ask the oil majors (BP for example) is “the concept of ‘Reserves’ is an economic concept, meaning that portion of ‘Resources’ that can be economically extracted at a particular oil price”
    I like to tease the Peak Oil mob with the simple question as to why there was only 25 years of reserves in 1945; by 1970, that oil was gone, but we had 30 years of reserves; by 2000, all the 1970′s oil had gone but we had 40 years of reserves. How come? They keep telling me we are about to hit a peak – they clearly don’t even understand the question.
    The answer, of course, is that in 1945 we were talking oil at $2/bbl; by 1970 there was no more $2/bbl oil but lots of $10/bbl; by 2000 there was no more $10/bbl oil but lots of $25 oil. Yes, ‘reserves’ are indeed an economic concept. But will the Peak Oil gloomsters understand that simple economics? I haven’t yet found one.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Hi,
    There is a department of “EXPLORATION” at Every Oil Company. It is clear that this department could have not been able to “EXPLORE” all the oil fields from the very beginning.
    They do not stay silent too, to end one “reserve” for whatever years and then start another stage for another series of years . Prices also, cannot be fixed for Y.E.A.R.S, the mechanism of MARKET is the ruler. BP and the others are not so wise to forecast the oil index for the next 100 years, just they know there would be inflation and too many other reasons… political..etc to affect the rates. Yes if we let the scientists to predict the OIL prices, oh god!, we may have something, of course we utterly cannot rely on.

  42. When, oh when will those smart-alecky, money-grubbing and arrogant wannabe-$cientists learn to leave their fingers off the planet?
    Nature is doing well in every way, all alone, even without those pointless and clueless do-gooders!

  43. “Aviation is really important to the global economy. We better understand what it’s doing to climate because it’s the fastest growing fossil fuel-burning sector and there is no alternative to air travel in many circumstances.”
    ========
    Really, important, fastest growing, no alternative, many circumstances, better understand, fossil fuel-burning sector, what it’s doing to climate.
    Is this the best that Yale writers can do ?
    If so, they stand no chance against the writers at WUWT.

  44. ThePowerofX says:
    December 14, 2011 at 9:50 am
    Because you have been indoctrinated into believing all climate models are useless.
    =======
    Didn’t take no Doctor, to convince me the climate models are useless.

  45. I’m disgusted that our military is being used as a test bed for the Green Agenda.

    It’s nothing of the sort. The “test bed for green fuels” is smoke and mirrors that allows people to get past the notion that one of Obama”s transition team members, major “bundler” of campaign donations, and the person that consulted on the energy portion of the stimulus bill has a rather large stake in the company selling the fuel to the Navy.
    It is, again, about money.
    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/11/navy-buys-biofuel-for-16-a-gallon/
    So here we have a person developing the policy and then cashing in on the implementation of that policy — sort if like UEA with CRU and Tyndall at either end of the global warming money cycle.

  46. So, the real “Control Knob” for global climate has been found. Just fiddle with airliners’ fuel mix.
    Warmer? Cooler? Where, how much, and how fast, sir? No problem!

  47. Brian H says:
    December 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    So, the real “Control Knob” for global climate has been found. Just fiddle with airliners’ fuel mix.
    Warmer? Cooler? Where, how much, and how fast, sir? No problem!
    =======
    Very good point.
    They know nothing about economics, only how to feed upon those that produce.
    Look at our deficit, neither party can afford to lose the votes/promises they made to get elected, nor can we pay for their promises made.
    So, now what ?

  48. Hmmm. The article said that jet exhaust will still have a small net cooling effect on climate with the sulfur removed. This is a preemptive defense of low sulfur fuel, avoiding the obvious conclusion that the current jet exhaust with sulfur has a significant cooling effect on the atmosphere.

  49. While I’m not about to pay $25 to read their paper, I would bet they don’t have any jet engine emission data to show the formation of nitrates. Combustion engines mostly produce NO at the exhaust. The NO subsequently reacts in sunlight to produce NO2. Now NO2 can react in sunlight with hydrocarbons to produce ozone and other nasty organic compounds; but nitrates, I’m not so sure.
    Thus, I question their basic premise that any appreciable amount of nitrates are formed.

  50. Okay. Before some atmospheric chemist jumps all over me. Yes, NO2 can react with volatile organic compounds to form peroxyacyl nitrate (PaN). It’s formation is very dependent on the amount of volatile organic compounds available. PaN has long been identified as a component of Los Angles smog.

  51. Well they took the sulfur out of diesel fuel and turn it from one of the cheapest fuels to more expensive than gasoline, so expect airline tickets to triple in price and no one will get to fly anymore….

  52. The picture showing ‘contrails’ is not relevant since these are ice crystals from the water produced by burning the fuel.
    Removing S from jet fuel will lead to more engine failures due to lack of lubrication needed in the engine fuel system which the Sulphur provides at little to no cost.

  53. Translation: Somebody along the line is anticipating making piles of $$$. They probably have a new patent pending with a ‘miracle’ lubricant to replace the sulphur in jet fuels. The claim of saving the Climate is nothing more than a flimsy excuse at a sales gimmick.

  54. @TimO – It was coincidence that the diesel fuel skyrocketed around that time. It has more to do with increased demand for diesel relative to supply. The cost of increased desulfurization is only about $0.05-$0.10/gallon. Refineries are designed to operate with certain types of crude and within certain fuel spec ranges. When refineries had to start shifting their production, they started shifting into the more expensive range for diesel production, thus they needed to charge higher prices.

  55. Ugh. I’m sick of jet contrails. They have gotten so bad these past 10-15 years. I live in rural America and the contrails often mark up the entire sky. It’s just ugly. Often the haze lasts all day and makes my evening sit out on the deck that much less enjoyable. Venus and the setting sun, and contrail blitzkrieg. They need to do something to make LESS contrails! LESS haze! LESS ugly mess in the beautiful sky. I’m an old country boy and this is just getting out of hand. Maybe Iran will close the straight of Hormuz and the price of oil will sky-rocket – and people will quit flying. I don’t fly. But I have to sit and look at the ugly mess above my rooftop, on my daily drive to work, on my daily walks. Ugly.

  56. I haven’t had time to (re)read this yet, but I think this is the report I was seeking, reflecting work done in the late 1970s at the Univ. of Illinois, which shows, if I recall correctly, that contrails reduced or attenuated the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. Who knew?
    (Cherrypicked from Conclusion and Discussion, page 92)

    12. When a contrail attenuated part of the solar beam for at least several minutes, we found that surface temperatures responded. From observations prior to the time of daily maximum temperature, the normal (with no contrails or clouds) rate of temperature rise in the morning was decreased by about 2.1 F/hr (1.2 C/hr).

    http://www.isws.illinois.edu/pubdoc/CR/ISWSCR-298.pdf
    And in a related matter:
    AirTran to charge overweight passengers for two seats
    http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/aviation/188591-airtran-to-adopt-southwest-airlines-customers-of-size-policy
    Finally, I’m sticking with my original conjecture:
    It is not difficult to convince portly people that It’s Too Darn Hot! Since the increasing sensation of warmth has nothing to do with one’s own increasing girth, it must be Global Warming!
    87)
    -sp

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