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Last week you might have seen some media coverage of a study led by academics at the University of Reading, looking at the savings in fuel and carbon that might be possible if flights took better advantage of the prevailing winds across the North Atlantic.
The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, analysed around 35,000 flights in both directions between New York and London from 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020 and concluded that taking better advantage of the winds would have saved around 200 kilometres worth of fuel per flight on average, adding up to a total reduction of 6.7 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.
Professor Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading and co-author of the new study, said: “Upgrading to more efficient aircraft or switching to biofuels or batteries could lower emissions significantly, but will be costly and may take decades to achieve.