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Variability in Contrail Ice Nucleation and Its Dependence on Soot Number Emissions

Bier, Andreas and Burkhardt, Ulrike (2019) Variability in Contrail Ice Nucleation and Its Dependence on Soot Number Emissions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124 (6), pp. 3384-3400. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2018JD029155. ISSN 0148-0227.

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Official URL: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018JD029155


Contrail ice nucleation is mainly controlled by aircraft emissions and the atmospheric state. The nucleation rate can have a strong impact on microphysical processes, optical properties, lifetime, and, therefore, on the climate impact of contrail cirrus. We study contrail ice crystal formation offline forspecified atmospheric conditions and its spatial variability in a global climate model. Assuming the standard atmosphere, above around 270 hPa (10 km) contrail ice nucleation is mainly controlled by aircraft soot number emissions and below additionally by atmospheric temperature. Parameterizing contrail ice nucleation in a global climate model, we find that in the northern extratropics contrails form frequently far away from their formation threshold. For current soot number emissions and in case of contrail formation, 90% of emitted soot particles form on average ice crystals around the cruise level and more than 70% between cruise altitudes and 300 hPa. The number of nucleated ice crystals in the extratropics decreases nearly at the same rate as soot number emissions. In contrast, in the tropics around cruise altitudes approximately 60% of contrails develop close to their formation threshold so that on average only about 50% of emitted soot particles can form ice crystals. Below, contrail formation occurs rarely and ice nucleation is reduced more strongly. Of the main air traffic areas, contrail ice nucleation is significantly limited by the atmospheric state over eastern Asia and over the southeastern United States. This limitation is enhanced during the summer months.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/126923/
Document Type:Article
Title:Variability in Contrail Ice Nucleation and Its Dependence on Soot Number Emissions
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Bier, AndreasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8016-3330UNSPECIFIED
Burkhardt, UlrikeDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0742-7176UNSPECIFIED
Date:March 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 3384-3400
Keywords:contrail formation soot emissions climate model atmospheric state
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 > Transport Meteorology
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Deposited By: Bier, Andreas
Deposited On:26 Mar 2019 07:36
Last Modified:14 Nov 2023 07:30

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