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Contrail cirrus supporting areas in model and observations

Burkhardt, Ulrike and Kärcher, Bernd and Ponater, Michael and Gierens, Klaus and Gettelman, Andrew (2008) Contrail cirrus supporting areas in model and observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (L16808), pp. 1-5. DOI: 10.1029/2008GL034056.

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Contrails form and persist dependent on the surrounding moisture, temperature and pressure fields and on fuel and aircraft specific variables. After formation, contrail persistence requires only supersaturation relative to ice. The fractional area in which contrails can form is called potential contrail coverage. We introduce a potential contrail cirrus coverage equivalent to the cloud free supersaturated area. This field, simulated by the ECHAM4 climate model, agrees fairly well with estimates of supersaturation frequency as inferred from aircraft and satellite measurements. In areas where the two potential coverages are different, especially at lower flight levels, potential contrail coverage is not a valid estimate of maximum attainable contrail cirrus coverage. We parameterize both potential coverages consistently with the ECHAM4 cloud cover parameterization. A comparison of the potential contrail coverage with an earlier estimate reveals substantial differences especially at upper height levels in the tropics.

Document Type:Article
Title:Contrail cirrus supporting areas in model and observations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Burkhardt, UlrikeUNSPECIFIED
Ponater, MichaelUNSPECIFIED
Gettelman, AndrewNCAR, Boulder, CO, USA
Date:23 August 2008
Journal or Publication Title:Geophysical Research Letters
Page Range:pp. 1-5
Keywords:contrail cirrus, supersaturation, climate modeling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:ATM and Operation
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Human Factors and Safety in Aeronautics
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Dynamics
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Ulrike Burkhardt
Deposited On:19 Sep 2008
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:32

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