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Impact of aircraft NOx emissions. Part 1: Interactively coupled climate-chemistry simulations and sensitivities to climate-chemistry feedback, lightning and model resolution

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Simulations with the fully coupled climate-chemistry model E39/C suggest that the 1990 aircraft NOx emissions contributed substantially to the Northern Hemisphere NOx (30-40%) and ozone (3-4%) tropospheric burdens. Ozone production rates are increased by air traffic NOx emissions in the mid- and upper troposphere, whereas ozone loss rates are increased in the lower troposphere but decreased at cruise altitudes. The latter reduction results from increased tropospheric NO and NO2 concentrations and a change in the OH:HO2 ratio at cruise altitudes. Sensitivity studies showed that feedback processes between chemical species and dynamics are not altered significantly by air traffic. However, the results are sensitive to the lightning NOx emission patterns, the vertical resolution of the model at tropopause altitudes, model domain, and maximum flight level.

Simulationen mit dem vollständig gekoppelten Klima-Chemie Modell E39/C zeigen einen deutlichen Beitrag von Flugzeug-NOx-Emissionen zum troposphärischen NOx- (30-40%) und Ozongehalt (3-4%). Ozonproduktionsraten erhöhen sich durch den Luftverkehr in der mittleren und oberen Troposphäre. Hingegen verstärken sich Ozonverlustraten in der unteren Troposphäre und verringern sich im Flugniveau. Letzteres ergibt sich aus einer Erhöhung der NO- und NO2-Konzentrationen in der Troposphäre und einer Änderung des OH:HO2-Verhältnisses. Sensitivitätsstudien zeigen, dass Rückkopplungsprozesse zwischen chemischen Spurenstoffen und der atmosphärischen Dynamik sich durch den Flugverkehr nicht signifikant ändern. Jedoch zeigen die Ergebnisse eine Sensitivität gegenüber NOx-Emissionsmustern von Blitzen, der vertikalen Modellauflösung im Tropopausenniveau, der Ausdehnung des Modellgebietes und der maximalen Flughöhe.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2002

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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