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Climate impact of supersonic air traffic: an approach to optimize a potential future supersonic fleet – results from the EU-project SCENIC

Grewe, Volker and Stenke, Andrea and Ponater, Michael and Sausen, Robert and Pitari, Giovanni and Iachetti, Daniela and Rogers, Helen and Dessens, Olivier and Pyle, John and Isaksen, I.S.A and Gulstad, Line and Sovde, O.A. and Marizy, Corinne and Pascuillo, E. (2007) Climate impact of supersonic air traffic: an approach to optimize a potential future supersonic fleet – results from the EU-project SCENIC. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 7, pp. 5129-5145. Copernicus Publications. ISSN 1680-7316


Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/7/5129/2007/acp-7-5129-2007.html


The demand for intercontinental transportation is increasing and people are requesting short travel times, which supersonic air transportation would enable. However, besides noise and sonic boom issues, which we are not referring to in this investigation, 5 emissions from supersonic aircraft are known to alter the atmospheric composition, in particular the ozone layer, and hence affect climate significantly more than subsonic aircraft. Here, we suggest a metric to quantitatively assess different options for supersonic transport with regard to the potential destruction of the ozone layer and climate impacts. Options for fleet size, engine technology (nitrogen oxide emission level), cruis10 ing speed, range, and cruising altitude, are analyzed, based on SCENIC emissions scenarios for 2050, which underlay the requirements to be as realistic as possible in terms of e.g. economic markets and profitable market penetration. This methodology is based on a number of atmosphere-chemistry and climate models to reduce mode dependencies. The model results differ significantly in terms of the response to a re15 placement of subsonic aircraft by supersonic aircraft. However, model differences are smaller when comparing the different options for a supersonic fleet. The base scenario, where supersonic aircraft get in service in 2015, a first fleet fully operational in 2025 and a second in 2050, lead in our simulations to a near surface temperature increase in 2050 of around 7mK and with constant emissions afterwards to around 21mK in 2100. The related total radiative forcing amounts to 22 mW/m<sup>2</sup> 20 in 2050, with an uncertainty between 9 and 29 mW/m<sup>2</sup> . A reduced supersonic cruise altitude or speed (from March 2 to Mach 1.6) reduces both, climate impact and ozone destruction, by around 40%. An increase in the range of the supersonic aircraft leads to more emissions at lower latitudes since more routes to SE Asia are taken into account, which increases ozone 25 depletion, but reduces climate impact compared to the base case.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/49857/
Document Type:Article
Title:Climate impact of supersonic air traffic: an approach to optimize a potential future supersonic fleet – results from the EU-project SCENIC
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Pitari, GiovanniUniv. l'Aquila, IUNSPECIFIED
Iachetti, DanielaUniv. l'Aquila, IUNSPECIFIED
Rogers, HelenUniv of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKUNSPECIFIED
Dessens, OlivierUniv of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKUNSPECIFIED
Pyle, JohnUniv of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKUNSPECIFIED
Isaksen, I.S.AUniv. of Oslo, NUNSPECIFIED
Gulstad, LineUniv. of Oslo, NUNSPECIFIED
Sovde, O.A.Univ. of Oslo, NUNSPECIFIED
Marizy, CorinneAirbus, Toulouse, FUNSPECIFIED
Pascuillo, E.Airbus, HamburgUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 5129-5145
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:Climate change, Supersonic transport, air traffic
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Low-Emission Air Traffic (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Dynamics
Deposited By: Grewe, Prof. Dr. Volker
Deposited On:08 Oct 2007
Last Modified:02 May 2019 14:03

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