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The CO2 and non-CO2 climate effects of individual flights: simplified estimation of CO2 equivalent emission factors

Thor, Robin Niclas and Niklaß, Malte and Dahlmann, Katrin and Linke, Florian and Grewe, Volker and Matthes, Sigrun (2023) The CO2 and non-CO2 climate effects of individual flights: simplified estimation of CO2 equivalent emission factors. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions (GMDD). Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/gmd-2023-126. ISSN 1991-9611. (Submitted)

[img] PDF - Preprint version (submitted draft)


As aviation’s contribution to anthropogenic climate change is increasing, industry aims at reducing the aviation climate effect. However, the large contribution of non-CO2 effects to the total climate effect of aviation and their large variability for each individual flight inhibit finding appropriate guidance. Here, we present a method for the simplified calculation of CO2 equivalent emissions, expressed using the physical climate metrics ATR100 or AGWP100, from CO2 and non-CO2 effects for a given flight, exclusively based on the aircraft seat category as well as the origin and destination airports. The simplified calculation method estimates non-CO2 climate effects of air traffic as precisely as possible, without detailed information on the actual flight route, actual fuel burn, and current weather situation. For this purpose, we evaluate a global data set containing detailed flight trajectories, flight emissions, and climate responses, and derive a set of regression formulas for climate effects, which we call climate effect functions, as well as regression formulas for fuel consumption and NOx emissions. Compared to previous studies, this method is available for a larger number of aircraft types, including most commercial airliners with seat capacities starting from 101 passengers, and delivers more specific results through a clustering approach. The climate effects calculated using the climate effect functions derived in this study exhibit a mean absolute relative error of 15.0 % and a root mean square error of 1.24 nK with respect to results from the climate response model AirClim. The climate effect functions are designed for climate footprint assessments, but would not create an incentive in an emission trading system, for which detailed information on the current weather as well as the actual flight route and profile would be required.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195804/
Document Type:Article
Title:The CO2 and non-CO2 climate effects of individual flights: simplified estimation of CO2 equivalent emission factors
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Thor, Robin NiclasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5703-0495UNSPECIFIED
Niklaß, MalteDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6760-8561UNSPECIFIED
Dahlmann, KatrinDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3198-1713UNSPECIFIED
Linke, FlorianDLR, LTI-LIPhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1403-3471UNSPECIFIED
Grewe, VolkerDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8012-6783UNSPECIFIED
Matthes, SigrunDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5114-2418UNSPECIFIED
Date:27 June 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Geoscientific Model Development Discussions (GMDD)
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:aviation, climate, CO2
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Air Transportation and Impact
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AI - Air Transportation and Impact
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Climate, Weather and Environment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Institute of Air Transport
Deposited By: Thor, Robin Niclas
Deposited On:10 Jul 2023 08:24
Last Modified:19 Oct 2023 15:06

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