Since the end of the Cold War more than 20 years ago, the prospect of nuclear Armageddon has gradually faded from the popular consciousness. Alex Wellerstein, historian of science at the American Institute of Physics, has designed the Nukemap to show the scale of destruction nuclear weapons can cause.
Other shocking results in other parts of the country show how even the Yorkshire Dales and Sheffield could be wiped out with a blast in Manchester and Nottingham and Northampton affected by one in Birmingham.Thankfully, Russian engineers lost their nerve before building the Tsar Bomba. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Airlines all over the world are struggling to lower the energy consumption of their machines - by designing lighter planes and more efficient engines, by getting rid of needless weight inside the cabin, or by flying at lower speeds. It has been said that there are no alternatives to airplanes either, when it comes to long distance travel.
Motorised ships (first running on steam coal, later on diesel) brought a spectacular improvement in speed and reliability. Most passenger ships were taken out of service in the 1960s - some were converted to cruise ships. A Boeing 747 has an average engine output of 65,000 kilowatts and can transport about 500 passengers. While passengers in a plane are squeezed together like sardines, the use of space on a ship like the Queen Mary 2 is far from optimal. How many passengers would fit in the Queen Mary 2 if they would have as less space and leisure options as the passengers of a large jumbo jet? This would make transatlantic shipping definitely more eco-friendly than air travel, even without cleaner and more efficient engines. The Queen Mary 1, who sailed the Atlantic from 1936 to 1967, was just like many other ocean liners converted to a troopship in World War II, often transporting as many as 15,000 American soldiers. These figures closely resemble those of the earlier ocean liners at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. If the passengers of the Queen Mary 2 would have the same moving space as the passengers of the (luxurious) Titanic, the ship could still hold more than 8,000 people, three times more than its capacity today (more, in fact, since older steamships had much larger engine rooms). Every one of those 30,000 passengers on the Queen Mary 2 would have 20 times as much space than a passenger on a plane, while at the same time consuming 43 times less engine power (taking the view that both engines has similar efficiency).
If flying would become too expensive for most of us, passenger ships might continue to provide mass travel and tourism at a democratic price. Switching back to ocean liners would surely lower long distance passenger travel and change life as we know it, but it would not be the end of modern civilization, nor the end of tourism or business. One very important note: replacing planes by ocean liners would be an ecologically sound idea, but only if marine engines become cleaner.
Thus, excluding engine efficiencies and other external factors, the trip by plane currently seems to be less energy intensive. Your units kW are power, and you seem not to have factored in the time component of travel, as they are different for a plane versus a boat. The biggest problem with your analysis is you're not taking into account the relative speed of a 747 compared to the Queen Mary 2.
I'm also perversely curious about the amount of human waste generated by 30,000 people over 4 days.
This means that the 2,620 passengers on the Queen Mary 2 consume 2,856 kilowatt-hours, versus 1,040 kilowatt-hours per passenger for the plane.
If the Queen Mary 2 would transport 500,000 people, this comes down to 15 kilowatt-hours per passenger, versus 1,040 per passenger on the plane. If the Queen Mary 2 would transport 30,000 people, this comes down to 252 kilowatt-hours per passenger, versus 1,040 per passenger on the plane. On the other hand, replacing planes by ships would definitely lower the demand for long-distance travel, because of the duration of the trip.
Just a thought: why not use the human waste generated by 30,000 people over 4 days to power the ship? Since shipping freight by ship is by far the most energy efficient way to move goods (even over rail), you would expect the same to hold for ship vs. I note that the Hindenburg in 1937 could transport passengers across the Atlantic in 2.5 to 3 days. Maybe we could use something else, like hydrogen, but helium is definitely the better choice since it is not flammable and much easier to handle. I don’t know if buoyant flight is the answer, but I agree that it deserves serious research. Basic human rights would decree washrooms for these 30,000 people - all additional weight and hence KWH and CO2 per journey.
Not sure how practical this is, but perhaps use incineraters to generate energy from waste produced onboard to fuel the ship. An additional point: If the Queen Mary 2 were carrying 500,000 passengers, the resulting power required would be many times more than the power required to move 2,620 people. Not only are you increasing the people weight of the cargo by 200 times, but also all those people need fresh drinking water, food etc. Finally, of course you cannot pack people in like sardines for a three-day trip like you can for an 8-hour trip. This is very late, but in light of the newest TSA rules (basically flying as a prisoner with no access to bathrooms during the last hour -- or more and full-body scans), I think I'd LOVE to go by oceanliner.
I've crossed the Atlantic twice on the old great liners- once on the SS United States and once on the Cristoforo Columbo of Italian lines. I, for one, though, would much rather cross the ocean on a ship than in a plane, which I've done quite a few times. I would be willing to travel by ship second or even third class, where I had a bunk, and space for my luggage, and could buy food a la carte at cafeterias. Of course combining on-liner business meetings with travel could mean an entire committee arrives on the other side in consensus..
Personally, I would love to be able to take transatlantic and transpacific ferries at a low cost comparable to an airline ticket.
However, there are three things that will always keep this from happening: Fuel costs, Maintenance costs, and crew costs.
The average cargo ship holds over $1 million in diesel and burns about $100,000 per day when fully loaded. Oceangoing vessels are usually scheduled to go into extensive drydock periods every 7-10 years.
The size of a typical cruise-ship cabin berth (I think) is much larger than the cabin berth of a typical train. Ecoangel said the cost of traveling across the ocean by ship is 8x higher than an airline ticket.

So, as shown in the article, if you go slowly enough in a self-contained vehicle then you start losing the putative efficiency of being slow. Basically if energy costs are overwhelming then you want to go slow, but if capital and overhead costs are significant the optimal speed goes up, to increase turnover and reduce overhead. Even if a trip took a whole week, going in a comfy ship cabin and getting real food and sea air more than makes up for it.
Now if you want to convert her to be a commercial liner(hence downgrading services) you could free up about 3 decks(theatre, gallery, shops, most of the restaurants, spa)for additional pax cabins which would about double the capacity. Note: you might find that a 4 days getaway on a ship costs the fracture of a transatlantic flight(say, with Lufthanza).
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But with approximately 23,000 nuclear warheads still thought to be in existence, there is still more than enough nuclear firepower available to basically end life on Earth.Now those interested in finding out how much damage a nuclear strike would cause in their home town can find out, thanks to a new online app. I'm sort of in the middle on all this so I don't see it as having a particular message.'I don't think nuclear weapons will be go any time soon but I hope we don't use them. Yet, environmental concerns, dwindling fuel reserves and fast rising kerosene prices are threatening to turn airline travel into a privilege for the rich again.
At the same time, they started investigating alternative fuels like algae, coconut oil, hydrogen and solar power.
This might be true, but this alternative once existed and it disappeared because of planes. While a sailing ship needed one to two months to cross the Atlantic, the first steamships made the journey in just 15 days. Nations were in a constant race to possess the fastest passenger ship.Ocean liners brought thousands of European immigrants to the US, Australia and Canada. Taking this gigantic ship as an example, replacing air travel by ocean liners does not seem to make a big difference. This comes down to 130 kilowatts per passenger (for comparison: cars can have a maximum engine output from 50 to 300 kilowatts and more).
The ship has a gross tonnage of almost 150,000 GT – gross tonnage is a measure determining the internal volume (or enclosed space) of a ship, and comprises all spaces including engine rooms and crew cabins for instance.
The Queen Mary 2 transporting 500,000 people would boil down to a power output of 0.18 kilowatts per passenger – comparable to the output of a well-trained cyclist and 700 times more efficient than the engine power per passenger of an airplane.
The best example is the Staten Island ferry, a passenger service that runs between Manhattan and Staten Island in New York.
That’s only slightly more than the available space on a jumbo jet.Of course, a trip on the Staten Island ferry only takes 25 minutes, and crossing the Atlantic folded in an airplane seat takes less than 10 hours. On one trip she took 16,082 soldiers – the largest amount of passengers ever transported on one vessel.The gross tonnage of the Queen Mary 2 is almost two times larger than that of the Queen Mary 1, so it must be possible to transport 2 x 15,000 = 30,000 people on a ship like the Queen Mary 2. The SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Gro?e, a German ocean liner launched in 1896, had a gross tonnage of only 14,350 GT but could take 1,506 passengers, which comes down to a gross tonnage per passenger of only 9.5 GT.
Therefore, transporting 30,000 people on the QM2 is far from unrealistic or uncomfortable (this is uncomfortable). Taking into account the duration of the trip, the ship is 4 times more energy efficient than the plane.Now this looks like an option that could be useful in a peak oil world. A weekend of shopping in Paris will be hard if you live in New York and only have 3 days free. Most ships make use of very dirty (unrefined) diesel oil that needlessly poisons the air and heats up the atmosphere. While the plane does indeed require more power than a boat, it uses less energy per person because, as you said, the plane trip is 10 times shorter.
The QM2 may be four times more efficient per hour of travel, but the 747 travels 20 times faster. I still hope they will make a comeback, but there seems to be a problem: we are running out of helium. Also, your gross tonnage figure fails to account for the size of the engine and other large space requirements in a ship.
Outfit 4 or so 45' containers with bunks and minimal accomodations- and send them over on a scheduled large containership( 7 days transit). Consider that there are no practical luggage weight limits (an issue for anyone who has to transport heavy equipment), and it all looks like a bliss. The number of crew would be about the same, since you need more cooks, stateroom stuards, and all the waiters would be transferred to an enormous buffet, and the additional room service bases. In fact there are zones called ECA and SECA, where there is mandatory to burn only cleaner fuel so they use diesel.

However Compare Infobase Limited,its directors and employees do not own any responsibility for the correctness or authenticity of the same. These major air routes connect all the major cities such as Stockholm, Kuwait, Karachi, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Stockholm, Zurich, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Vienna, Sydney, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Any rights in individual contents of the database are licensed under the Database Contents License. The map is just laying out the facts of it, there is no political message from me.'Click here to try out the Nukemap on your home town.
This should not mean the end of mass travel or tourism, however.Before mass air travel took off in the 1960s, people crossed the globe in majestic passenger ships. None of these things will save cheap airline travel when kerosene prices keep going up, though. From the mid-19th century to the 1960s, millions of people crossed the oceans on passenger ships.
Steamships also made travelling times predictable, so that regular services could be established.
They caused a modest tourist boom in the 1920s and they served as the most important means of transportation between European countries and their colonies.
Jet engines killed distance: today, at least in theory, every place on Earth can be reached in less than 24 hours time.
Thus, to transport one passenger across the Atlantic, a plane needs 4 times more engine power than a ship. The Queen Mary 2 shows off 15 restaurants and bars, 5 swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre and a planetarium, to give some examples. Taking into account the duration of the voyages, the ship scores 70 times better than the plane. Ferries generally make far from optimal use of space, because almost all of them take not only passengers on board but also their cars.
Stuffing 500,000 people in the Queen Mary would be a bit optimistic, because the trip would take more than 3 days – a bit of walking space might be very welcome.
But you could still get anywhere you want, if you take the time.Unfortunately, governments and businesses prefer to keep up their belief in ever larger airports and ever faster planes (like the Lapcat) as if there is no alternative.
Using fewer watts for a long period can be more expensive than using many for a short duration - ask anyone who's accidentally left their car headlights on for too long about that!
She lost her record in the other direction (3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes) to a fast catamaran in 1990. A storm is no problem for a very large ship, the Queen Mary once survived a rogue wave of 28 meters when transporting 15,000 people (see link below). So using a more modest figure of, say, 15,000 people, this only gets you a savings of 2 times above what a plane gets. It's not sustainable, wastes precious oil reserves, and produces so much waste, not to mention that you check your civil rights at the airport.
Today the maritime laws are strict- more than 12 passengers requires a doctor aboard- perhaps that can be loosened creatively? This is to check for weakness in the hull and to repair, repaint and recoat the hull with a protective layer that reduces the amount of damage done by the sea water. Reintroducing ocean liners would be more than a nostalgic move: it could be a much more energy efficient (yet slower) way to travel. There is a limit to energy efficiency, and alternative fuels for airplanes are highly speculative; maybe we should first try and see if we could run our cars on “green” fuels without destroying the environment before we try to implement them in jumbo jets. Yet, the fast growth of ocean liner traffic came to a rather abrupt end when cheap and fast air travel took off. Energy output does not say all there is to say about fuel consumption however, since it does not take into account the duration of the trip (see comments) and the fuel efficiency of the engines. A Boeing 747 has a gross tonnage of 129 GT – which comes down to 0.26 gross tonnes per passenger. Since the cars take more space and weigh more than the passengers, ferries are a very inefficient way of transporting people (some of them are also as luxurious as cruise ships).
Transporting more passengers also means you have to take more food and more lifeboats, and it would mean significantly more garbage. Engineers could design faster ships, but only at the expense of much higher fuel consumption.
As the Atlantic crossing distances are roughly constant (though the routes do vary) the energy required per person in the 747 is considerably lower than the energy required for the QM. These are record times, so actual travel times may vary according to weather, current and so on. Of course, being a passenger on a ship in a storm is not very comfortable, but the ship can sail out. My next few trips will be cruises, but I'm hoping for a resurgence of these beautiful ocean liners.
In the early 80's a line serving south america did carry more than 12 passengers- but this was a dodge to get priority berthing in crowded, delay prone ports.
Make translantic ship trips cheaper (33% cheaper, say) than airplane fares, and there will be crowds queueing up for the rides. Most of these passenger ships were rather small and slow, but the superliners travelling the North Atlantic between Europe and North America were fast vessels with a much larger passenger capacity than that of a present plane (these sites have a good overview of historical ocean liners). It says even less about the emissions of toxic fumes and CO2, because marine engines burn much dirtier fuel than aeroplanes. If we would stuff people in the Queen Mary 2 like we fold passengers in airplane seats, the ship could transport more than 500,000 people.
The majority of fast ships (hovercraft, catamarans, hydrofoils) were taken out of service because of high fuel costs. Wind energy and solar energy can also help to lower the fuel consumption of ships (see these articles on Low-tech Magazine). Unlike a flight where the crew flies somewhere and takes a different flight later for minimal pay, these men and women are always on the clock and getting paid well for their time. With the arrival of jet powered planes at the end of the 1950s, however, ocean liners lost their reason for existence. Therefore, to make a case for a revival of ocean liners, more spectacular gains are needed. Other issues to consider are wastewater treatment and garbage disposal – again things that should not be harmful, but at the moment they are because of a lack of sufficient laws and control (read more about the rather sickening practices of cruise ships here).

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