Metrics for Measuring Aviation Climate Impacts

A metric is needed to calculate total contribution to climate change of current air travel so that an individual’s or a company’s climate footprint can be accurately calculated. Such a metric must capture the future effects of current emissions. Such a metric must:

a) Exclude warming responses from past air travel.
b) Include the future impacts of current air travel.
c) Exclude warming responses from future air travel.

The Summary of Metrics described some of the currently available metrics that try to quantify non-CO2 climate effects.

The following webpages explain these metrics in more detail. All these metrics (and others) have been used to determine aviation’s total impact on climate change. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of each approach:
Radiative Forcing (RF)
Radiative Forcing Index (RFI)
Global Warming Potential (GWP)
Global Temperature Change Potential (GTP) and
Economic Cost Calculations.