Every day, people are increasingly changing the climatic conditions of their own planet, and most of the changes are unplanned. The extraction of natural resources, transport, industry and many other aspects of the activities of modern civilization have a strong influence on the climate. As it turned out
, the desire to go to another country for a couple of weeks also contributes to these changes.
Specialists studied the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from 2009 to 2013 and found that earlier estimates of the amount of emitted gases are four times less than the real figure. The travel industry, namely, travel, causes about 4.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.
Now, few scientists doubt that the main cause of global climate change is the release into the atmosphere of a huge amount of various gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, water vapor and others. By the way, animal husbandry is to blame, no less than heavy industry. Every year, scientists give their assessment of the current state of emissions and offer solutions to the problem. By the way, the point of no return has either been passed, or civilization is very close to it.
Not so long ago, experts discovered that international tourism is one of the factors that lead to the release of large amounts of gases, accelerating the onset of global warming. In 2005, tourism led (if I may say so) to release more than 1.2 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents. In 2010, the same figure was about 1.1 gigatons. Is it a lot or a little? Scientists believe that about three percent of the total volume of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere due to the influence of various anthropogenic factors.
Tourism is developing and very rapidly - who does not want to fly to Prague for the weekend or visit the Great Pyramid of Cheops? But this development contributes to an increase in the number of flights, bus and other transport routes. And transport, as you know, does not work on water (although there are such vehicles), but on gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. Burning fuel leads to massive emissions of harmful substances, including gases.
Scientists who have studied the impact of tourism on climate work in the international Australian-Chinese group. Its head is Arunima Malik, a professor at the University of Sydney. Experts to study took official information on the accounting of the economic impact of tourism. These data were available for 55 individual countries and 105 countries that are members of the World Tourism Organization. Above it was said about flights, but the hotel-restaurant business, as well as the production of tourist "artifacts" also contribute to the release of greenhouse gases.
And that's just the indirect influence of the scientists who conducted the study of the situation earlier, did not take into account. It was already mentioned above that in 2010 the emissions of carbon dioxide equivalents amounted to 1.1 gigatons. In fact, the volume was about 3.9 gigatons. And in 2013, this figure did increase to 4.5 gigatons. As you can see, this is not 2-3% of the total emissions, caused by anthropogenic factors, but as much as 8%.
It would be logical to assume that the tourism industry of developed countries has the strongest impact on the environment. This is, first of all, the United States. American tourists caused more than 75 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions when traveling to Canada and about 48 megatons when going to Mexico. Russian tourists, although lagging behind the "colleagues" from the United States, but still their carbon footprint is very noticeable. Only the travels of Russians from Russia to Ukraine caused the emission of about 7.8 megatons of greenhouse gases.
Specialists believe that carbon dioxide makes up 72% of the total volume of gases generated and emitted into the atmosphere. A lot of methane is released.
Naturally, the further development of tourism will only increase the trend, and the atmosphere will be polluted even more, which will accelerate the onset of global warming. If everything continues at the same pace, by 2025, emissions will increase by about 40% from the current level.
Scientists who conducted the study recommend that travel companies monitor the "purity" of the technologies they use, so that tourism does not finally turn into a dirty industry. Tourists are advised to use personal transport less often and travel more often in public.