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How Well Can Persistent Contrails Be Predicted?

Gierens, Klaus Martin and Matthes, Sigrun and Rohs, S. (2020) How Well Can Persistent Contrails Be Predicted? Aerospace, 7 (169). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/aerospace7120169. ISSN 2226-4310.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2226-4310/7/12/169/pdf


Persistent contrails and contrail cirrus are responsible for a large part of aviation induced radiative forcing. A considerable fraction of their warming effect could be eliminated by diverting only a quite small fraction of flight paths, namely those that produce the highest individual radiative forcing (iRF). In order to make this a viable mitigation strategy it is necessary that aviation weather forecast is able to predict (i) when and where contrails are formed, (ii) which of these are persistent, and (iii) how large the iRF of those contrails would be. Here we study several data bases together with weather data in order to see whether such a forecast would currently be possible. It turns out that the formation of contrails can be predicted with some success, but there are problems to predict contrail persistence. The underlying reason for this is that while the temperature field is quite good in weather prediction and climate simulations with specified dynamics, this is not so for the relative humidity in general and for ice supersaturation in particular. However we find that the weather model shows the dynamical peculiarities that are expected for ice supersaturated regions where strong contrails are indeed found in satellite data. This justifies some hope that the prediction of strong contrails may be possible via general regression involving the dynamical state of the ambient atmosphere.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/138553/
Document Type:Article
Title:How Well Can Persistent Contrails Be Predicted?
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Gierens, Klaus MartinDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6983-5370UNSPECIFIED
Matthes, SigrunDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5114-2418UNSPECIFIED
Rohs, S.FZ, Jülichhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5473-2934UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Aerospace
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:contrails; climate; mitigation; predictability
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
Deposited By: Gierens, Dr.rer.nat. Klaus Martin
Deposited On:27 Nov 2020 14:42
Last Modified:24 Oct 2023 15:13

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