Your Journey:

Please click on the map to choose your departure point and destination, then see the cost calculated below.

(if the map is too squashed, open map in a seperate window)

Latitude Longitude
Distance (great circle) km

You can change the four options below

Type of ticket
Type of plane occupancy %

Results (per passenger)
Fuel used kg
CO2 emissions kg CO2
Total Warming Effect kg CO2 Equivalent

How much is this? / Put this in a global context
Explain the calculations! / [Info about map]

How much is this?

(Blank boxes? -First choose your journey)

Your journey needed kg fuel. This amount:
*is about times an average person's weight
*has a volume of litres
*makes kW-hrs energy when burnt, as much as the electricity used by 60W lightbulbs lit continuously for one year, or the food eaten by people in one year.
*contains as much carbon as all the air above m2 of the earth's surface, or as a typical tree about m tall.
*would cost an extra if tax and duty were charged at the same rate as on petrol in the UK.
But how much can each of us safely emit?
Why is aircraft fuel tax-free? / Back to Map

Your journey in a global context

(Blank boxes? -First choose your journey)

In 1995, 6 billion people on the planet emitted 6 bn tons of carbon (C) to the atmosphere (as CO2*) by burning fossil fuel - i.e. one ton per person on average. The oceans can only absorb about 2 bn tons C annually, and trees absorb less than one ton. So to stabilise the concentration of CO2 now, we need to cut emissions by about 60%, to 0.4 ton C per person per year. In comparison, your proposed flight would emit tons C (as CO2) per passenger, i.e. your total sustainable carbon emissions budget for all purposes (including heating, cooking, lighting, local transport, etc.) for years.
And remember: that's just the CO2: the total warming effect of CO2 + H2O + NOx is about 3 times greater.
*Note: 1 ton C = 44 / 12 tons CO2

New! Launch the Java Climate Model JCM5 to see Aviation's impact on Climate, from emissions to impacts, within a context of flexible multi-gas stabilisation scenarios, and explore the sensitivity to options / uncertainties
( see JCM5 main page for more info)

More about carbon and climate / Back to Map

How is it calculated?

Great circle distance: by trigonometry (accurate to <1%)

Fuel per passenger (Data for B-747).
Fuel = [7840 + 10.1 * (distance-250)] (*2 if return)
(7840 kg take off-climb-descent, 10.1 kg/km cruising).
Passengers, = 370 * [occupancy] (/1.5 if business)
Greenhouse warming:
CO2 = fuel * (44/12 * 156/184) (molecular masses)
Total warming effect of CO2,Ozone (made by NOx), water vapour and contrails is about three times greater than effect of CO2 alone
More info here or in the "Climate Train" report / Please suggest refinements / Back to Map / More about map below

About the script

The map and calculations of distance, fuel, warming, etc. use javascript and dynamic HTML. If there are script errors -don't worry, they will not harm your computer.
If you want to see the exact formulae for the calculations, see mapfunc.js. Look for the functions "calcdist", "fuel", "calchm", and "context".

What is a "Great circle?"

This is the shortest route between two points on the surface of the earth, and lies on a plane passing through the earth's centre. Flights usually lie along great circle routes, although national airspace restrictions, jet streams, etc., may also influence the route.

Back to Map

If you like this interactive tool, perhaps you would like to try the interactive Java Climate Model linking individual emissions to global temperature rise.