CARD CALCULATIONS - TRANSPORT
Here are calculation explanations for a selection of cards in the Transport category.
This category includes the greenhouse gas emissions from:
– Combustion of fuels (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, biodiesel) in internal combustion engines in cars, buses and airplanes.
– Production of electricity for trains and electric cars
– Manufacturing of cars and buses (that is, the emissions from the production of the materials that make up the vehicles).
– Production of lithium batteries for electric cars.
– Enhanced climate impact caused by aircrafts flying at high altitudes, known as the high-altitude effect.
The greenhouse gas emissions from the following activities are not included:
– Production and maintenance of infrastructure, such as roads, railways and airports.
– Manufacture of aircraft and trains (since the total journey over the entire lifespan is very long, the production emissions become almost negligible when calculated per kilometer).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The high altitude effect refers to the enhanced climate impact caused by emissions at high altitude. Aircraft flying at high altitude have a direct impact on the climate in the form of carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of aviation fuel. But flying also has indirect effects on the climate, which are linked to the fact that the emissions occur at high altitude.
The indirect effects include a warming effect due to cloud formation at high altitude (water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas) and a cooling effect due to the emission of particles that reflect incoming solar radiation back into space.
How much the climate impact is amplified depends on the altitude at which the emissions occur, which in turn depends on the distance flown (the longer the distance, the higher up in the atmosphere the aircraft flies). We have considered an enhancement factor of 0% for flights under 500 km, 70% for all flights over 1000 km, and a linear increase of the enhancement factor from 0% to 70% for all flights between 500 and 1000 km.
In the calculation explanations, we show exactly how we have calculated, step by step!
In the production of vehicles such as cars and buses, it is mainly the extraction and processing of the materials that make up the vehicles that requires a lot of energy, and thus causes greenhouse gas emissions. On the one hand, energy is required for the actual extraction of the materials in mines, and on the other hand, energy is required for processing and enrichment. Energy is also required to produce the electrical components for the vehicles.
We have calculated the emissions from manufacturing based on the weight of the vehicles and the materials they consist of. The weight of the constituent materials has been multiplied by emission factors for the corresponding materials. The emission factors indicate how much greenhouse gas is emitted during the extraction and enrichment of 1 kg of material.
Vehicles are made up of many different materials and elements. There is a wide range of emission values for different elements depending on how common they are in the earth’s crust and how difficult they are to extract. As an example, the production of 1 kg of carbon steel emits 2.3 kg CO2e, while the corresponding emission figure for platinum is about 34 000 kg CO2e.
We have also assumed how far the vehicles travel during their lifetime, in order to be able to distribute the emissions from manufacturing over the right distance.
The emission factors for materials we use do not include processing (such as cutting) and assembly of components, as these production steps require comparatively little energy.