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Regional and Seasonal Dependence of the Potential Contrail Cover and the Potential Contrail Cirrus Cover over Europe

Dischl, Rebecca and Kaufmann, Stefan and Voigt, Christiane (2022) Regional and Seasonal Dependence of the Potential Contrail Cover and the Potential Contrail Cirrus Cover over Europe. Aerospace, 9 (9), p. 485. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/aerospace9090485. ISSN 2226-4310.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/aerospace9090485


Ambient weather conditions strongly impact contrail formation and persistence. The implementation of contrail avoidance and mitigation strategies, therefore, requires regional and altitude-dependent information on the frequency of contrail occurrence. To this end, we have developed a method to quantify the potential contrail cover based on 10 years of high-resolution reanalysis of climatology and weather data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF). We use the Schmidt-Appleman threshold temperature for contrail formation and additionally select thresholds for the relative humidity to evaluate the occurrence of persistent contrails and assess their regional and seasonal variation. We find a potential contrail cirrus cover of 10% to 20% above Europe at higher altitudes of 200 and 250 hPa in the 10-year climatology and a weak seasonal variation. At lower altitudes, near 300 hPa, a steep onset and a high potential contrail cirrus cover of 20% is found in late fall and in winter, decreasing to 2% potential contrail cirrus cover in summer. In comparison to ECMWF data, evaluations using data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) show a significantly lower potential contrail cirrus cover. Our results help to investigate the seasonal and altitude dependence of contrail mitigation strategies, in particular for warming nighttime contrails that contribute strongly to the total climate impact from aviation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/191021/
Document Type:Article
Title:Regional and Seasonal Dependence of the Potential Contrail Cover and the Potential Contrail Cirrus Cover over Europe
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Kaufmann, StefanDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0767-1996UNSPECIFIED
Voigt, ChristianeDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8925-7731UNSPECIFIED
Date:August 2022
Journal or Publication Title:Aerospace
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 485
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:contrail formation and persistence; Schmidt–Appleman criterion; contrail statistics
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research, L - Climate, Weather and Environment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics
Deposited By: Dischl, Rebecca Katharina
Deposited On:28 Nov 2022 14:12
Last Modified:19 Oct 2023 13:07

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