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Potential to reduce the climate impact of aviation by flight level changes

Schumann, Ulrich and Graf, Kaspar and Mannstein, Herrmann (2011) Potential to reduce the climate impact of aviation by flight level changes. In: AIAA paper (AIAA 2), pp. 1-22. 3rd AIAA Atmospheric Space Environments Conference, 27.-30. Jun. 2011, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

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Official URL: http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=2


This paper discusses various strategies to reduce the global warming from aircraft by contrail formation and carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, we discuss the impact of changes of the flight level, typically 2000 ft (610 m) up or down. Previous studies suggested reducing contrail formation by flying lower generally or by flying higher or lower at the actual level with minimum relative humidity. This paper introduces a more efficient strategy which selects optimized routes based on the climate impact of contrails and fuel consumption along these routes. By preferred flights in atmospheric regions where contrails cool, an aircraft routing can be designed with minimum or even negative climate impact. For the fleet as a whole the climate impact is measured in terms of its radiative forcing RF. For individual flights, the climate impact is measured by the amount of energy induced into the Earth-atmosphere system per unit flight distance, which we call the energy forcing EF. Both RF and EF for contrails and CO2 can be combined into a global mean surface temperature increase for a given time horizon. This paper describes the basic principles and quantifies the potential impacts using the recently developed Contrail Cirrus Simulation Prediction tool (CoCiP).

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech, Paper)
Title:Potential to reduce the climate impact of aviation by flight level changes
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Schumann, UlrichUNSPECIFIED
Mannstein, HerrmannUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:AIAA paper
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:pp. 1-22
Keywords:contrail climate route aviation optimization
Event Title:3rd AIAA Atmospheric Space Environments Conference
Event Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:27.-30. Jun. 2011
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 - Climate, Weather and Environment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Remote Sensing
Deposited By: Prof.Dr.habil. Ulrich Schumann
Deposited On:08 Jul 2011 09:55
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:19

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