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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-218
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-218
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Apr 2017

Submitted as: research article | 03 Apr 2017

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Coupled Chemistry-Climate Effects from 2050 Projected Aviation Emissions

Andrew Gettelman1, Chih-Chieh Chen1, Mark Z. Jacobson2, Mary A. Cameron2, Donald J. Wuebbles3, and Arezoo Khodayari3,a Andrew Gettelman et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • 3University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA
  • anow at: California State University Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract. Analyses of the climate effects of 2050 aviation emissions have been conducted with two coupled Chemistry Climate Models (CCMs) including experiments with coupled ocean models. The baseline 2050 aviation emissions scenario projects emissions ~ 5 times those in 2006. Simulations suggest a corresponding growth in the climate impact of aviation by 2050. Positive radiative forcing from contrails reaches +80 mWm−2. Enhanced upper tropospheric and lower stratospheric ozone (O3) due to aviation nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions causes a radiative forcing of +60 mWm−2. Changes in methane (CH4) lifetime induced by aviation are estimated to cause −25 mWm−2 of radiative forcing in 2050. Simulations indicate that moderate changes in water vapor emissions from changes in combustion efficiency will not have significant forcing. Non-linear effects due to particles (black carbon and sulfur) included in these calculations suggest an important role for black carbon (BC) in increasing contrail cirrus ice crystal number, leading to net warming. Sulfur emissions brighten clouds and provide a net cooling, but this is dependent on uncertain background sulfur levels. Thus alternative aviation fuels with reduced sulfur and BC may alter the future climate impact of aviation, but the sign is dependent on specific processes represented and the background state. Regional perturbations due to contrail and particulate emissions may result in statistically significant regional surface temperature changes in coupled model simulations in areas near or adjacent to flight corridors, but significant signals only emerge after 20–50 years of simulation. Many regions with high regional aviation forcing do not experience net surface temperature changes because of advective rather than radiative driving of temperatures. Surface temperature signals are not significant globally even in long coupled simulations. Short-lived non-uniform aviation forcing will thus affect climate differently than uniform forcing in the coupled climate system.

Andrew Gettelman et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Andrew Gettelman et al.
Andrew Gettelman et al.
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Short summary
Aviation emissions create several impacts on climate. Condensation trails (contrails) are aviation produced cirrus clouds. Aircraft also emit aerosols, including soot (black carbon) and sulfate. Analyses of the climate effects of 2050 aviation emissions have been conducted with two coupled Chemistry Climate Models (CCMs) including experiments with coupled ocean models.
Aviation emissions create several impacts on climate. Condensation trails (contrails) are...
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