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The impact of cruise altitude on contrails and related radiative forcing

Fichter, Christine and Marquart, Susanne and Sausen, Robert and Lee, David S. (2005) The impact of cruise altitude on contrails and related radiative forcing. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 14, pp. 563-572. DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2005/0048.

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Within the framework of the European Fifth Framework Project TRADEOFF, the impact of changing cruise altitudes on contrail coverage and corresponding radiative forcing was investigated. On the basis of the reference year 1992, a series of aircraft emissions inventories with changed flight altitudes was prepared. These emission scenarios provide flown distances, fuel consumption and NO<sub>x</sub> emissions on a three-dimensional grid. The vertical resolution of these inventories was significantly increased over that used in former inventories. With a downshift of cruise altitude by 2000 ft (Throughout this paper we denote flight levels in ft. 2000 ft convert to approximately 610 m.), 4000 ft, and 6000 ft global annual mean contrail coverage is reduced in an approximately linear manner, reaching a maximum decrease of almost 45 % for a 6000 ft lower cruise altitude. Contrary to this, a slight increase by 6 % of global annual mean contrail coverage resulted for a 2000 ft higher maximum flight altitude. Relative changes of corresponding radiative forcing were shown to be very similar to those of contrail coverage. For changes in contrail coverage and radiative forcing associated with changes in flight altitudes, a strong seasonal and regional variability was found. This study only considers contrail radiative forcing. Trade-offs from other aviation related radiative impacts, e.g., from CO<sub>2</sub> or O<sub>3</sub>,have not been studied.

Document Type:Article
Title:The impact of cruise altitude on contrails and related radiative forcing
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Fichter, ChristineUNSPECIFIED
Marquart, SusanneUniv. Heidelberg, Heidelberg
Lee, David S.Manchester Metropolitan Univ., Manchester, UK
Journal or Publication Title:Meteorologische Zeitschrift
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 563-572
Keywords:contrails, aircraft, climate, mitigation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:V SM - Sicherung der Mobilität (old)
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V SM - Sicherung der Mobilität
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Analyse und Prognose des Luftverkehrs (old), L - Low-Emission Air Traffic (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Dynamics
Deposited By: Dr. Christine Frömming
Deposited On:18 Mar 2008
Last Modified:11 Nov 2014 21:56

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