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Effects of Optical Depth Variability on Contrail Radiative Forcing

Kärcher, Bernd and Burkhardt, Ulrike (2013) Effects of Optical Depth Variability on Contrail Radiative Forcing. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, online (139), pp. 1658-1664. Wiley. doi: 10.1002/qj.2053. ISSN 0035-9009.

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2053/pdf


Line-shaped contrails arising from aircraft emissions affect radiative forcing. The magnitude of the radiative forcing from contrails depends strongly on their optical depth and their spatial and temporal variability caused by dynamical and microphysical processes. Here we investigate the significance of this variability, both for modelling contrail radiative forcing and estimating thresholds for the detection of contrails in satellite imagery. Ignoring the variability of contrail optical depth in models by prescribing a mean optical depth may overestimate mean net radiative forcing by 10−20%. Undersampling of optically thin line-shaped contrails by passive satellite remote sensing is linked to the inability to detect flux changes in the outgoing long-wave radiation below ≈3Wm−2 for conditions over the eastern North Pacific. Consideration of these findings aids efforts to better quantify uncertainties in aviation climate assessments

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/77376/
Document Type:Article
Title:Effects of Optical Depth Variability on Contrail Radiative Forcing
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Burkhardt, UlrikePAUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1658-1664
Keywords:aviation; aircraft emissions; contrails; radiative forcing; optical depth
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space, Aeronautics, Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation, ATM and Operation (old), other
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt, Aeronautics, Transport
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation, L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation, V - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research, L - Climate, Weather and Environment (old), V - no assignment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Deposited By: Kärcher, Prof. Bernd
Deposited On:24 Sep 2012 13:19
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 11:46

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