I recently flew from Frankfurt to Cape Town and used an online calculator to see what my carbon emissions were in order to offset them.
I went through a few websites and the range of CO2 emissions results was anything from 0.6tons all the way to 2.2t for one person for a one way trip.
This spread annoyed me, so I did my own basic research, and found out that the plane I flew on (Airbus A340-300) has 335 seats, fuel burn of 6.5t per hour, and a flight time of 12 hours. So a rough total of 78t fuel burn for the flight, and therefore per seat 0.232t.
Now assuming the flight was full (335 seats) and everyone wanted to offset their emissions and used one of these calculators, even the lowest website result (0.6t -ICAO) would mean that the CO2 emissions for everyone on the flight were 201t. On the other end of the scale using the 2.2t from Atmosfair, it would be a whopping 737t!
But… the entire fuel burn is only 78t for the flight, and the max fuel the A340-300 can carry is 148t?!
This is obviously a very basic calculation and I have no understanding of either travel carbon emissions or science really, but I just don’t get what I’m missing in my understanding and how the weight of CO2 emissions seems to double compared to the fuel used?
In: Earth Science