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Mitigating the contrail cirrus climate impact by reducing aircraft soot number emissions

Burkhardt, Ulrike and Bock, Lisa and Bier, Andreas (2018) Mitigating the contrail cirrus climate impact by reducing aircraft soot number emissions. npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, 1, 37/1-7. Springer. doi: 10.1038/s41612-018-0046-4. ISSN 2397-3722.

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0046-4


Contrail cirrus are a major component of the climate forcing due to air traffic. For a given contrail cirrus cover, ice water content and ice crystal shape, their impact on radiation is dependent on the number and size of ice crystals. Here we use a global climate model to study the impact of a reduction in initially formed ice crystal numbers, as may be caused by reduced soot number emissions. We find that for reduced initial ice crystal numbers the ice water content is decreased and ice crystal sizes increased, leading to a reduction in contrail cirrus optical depth and doubling the fraction of contrail cirrus that cannot be detected by satellite remote sensing. Contrail cirrus lifetimes and coverage are strongly reduced leading to significant reductions in contrail cirrus radiative forcing. The global climate impact of contrail cirrus is nonlinearly dependent on the reduction in initial ice crystal numbers. A reduction in the initial ice crystal number of 80% leads to a decrease in contrail cirrus radiative forcing by 50%, whereas a twofold reduction leads to a decrease in radiative forcing by approximately 20%. Only a few contrail cirrus outbreaks explain a large percentage of the climate impact. The contrail cirrus climate impact can be effectively mitigated by reducing initial ice crystal concentrations in such outbreak situations. Our results are important for assessments dealing with mitigating the climate impact of aviation and discussions about the use of alternative fuels or lean combustion in aviation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/123504/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mitigating the contrail cirrus climate impact by reducing aircraft soot number emissions
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Burkhardt, UlrikeDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0742-7176UNSPECIFIED
Bock, LisaDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7058-5938UNSPECIFIED
Bier, AndreasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8016-3330UNSPECIFIED
Date:19 October 2018
Journal or Publication Title:npj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:37/1-7
Keywords:Contrail cirrus, Climate impact, Impact of soot number reductions on contrail cirrus, Mitigating contrail cirrus
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Climate, Weather and Environment (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Model Evaluation and Analysis
Deposited By: Burkhardt, Dr.rer.nat. Ulrike
Deposited On:23 Nov 2018 14:32
Last Modified:02 Nov 2023 09:44

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