Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 12185-12229, 2007
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/7/12185/2007/
doi:10.5194/acpd-7-12185-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
A strategy for climate evaluation of aircraft technology: an efficient climate impact assessment tool – AirClim
V. Grewe and A. Stenke
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, 82230 Wessling, Germany

Abstract. Climate change is a challenge to society and to cope with requires assessment tools which are suitable to evaluate new technology options with respect to their impact on climate. Here we present AirClim, a model which comprises a linearisation of the processes occurring from the emission to an estimate in near surface temperature change, which is presumed to be a reasonable indicator for climate change. The model is designed to be applicable to aircraft technology, i.e.~the climate agents CO2, H2O, CH4 and O3 (latter two resulting from NOx-emissions) and contrails are taken into account. It employs a number of precalculated atmospheric data and combines them with aircraft emission data to obtain the temporal evolution of atmospheric concentration changes, radiative forcing and temperature changes. The linearisation is based on precalculated data derived from 25 steady-state simulations of the state-of-the-art climate-chemistry model E39/C, which include sustained normalised emissions at various atmospheric regions. The results show that strongest climate impacts from ozone changes occur for emissions in the tropical upper troposphere (60 mW/m²; 80 mK for 1 TgN emitted), whereas from methane in the middle tropical troposphere (–2.7% change in methane lifetime; –30 mK per TgN). The estimate of the temperature changes caused by the individual climate agents takes into account a perturbation lifetime, related to the region of emission. A comparison of this approach with results from the TRADEOFF and SCENIC projects shows reasonable agreement with respect to concentration changes, radiative forcing, and temperature changes. The total impact of a supersonic fleet on radiative forcing (mainly water vapour) is reproduced within 5%. For subsonic air traffic (sustained emissions after 2050) results show that although ozone-radiative forcing is much less important than that from CO2 for the year 2100. However the impact on temperature is of comparable size even when taking into account temperature decreases from CH4. That implies that all future measures for climate stabilisation should concentrate on both CO2 and NOx emissions. A direct comparison of super- with subsonic aircraft (250 passengers, 5400 nm) reveals a 5 times higher climate impact of supersonics.

Citation: Grewe, V. and Stenke, A.: A strategy for climate evaluation of aircraft technology: an efficient climate impact assessment tool – AirClim, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 12185-12229, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-12185-2007, 2007.
 
Search ACPD
Discussion Paper
    XML
    Citation
    Final Revised Paper
    Share