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Impact of perturbations to nitrogen oxide emissions from global aviation

Kohler, MO; Radel, G; Dessens, O; Shine, KP; Rogers, HL; Wild, O; Pyle, JA; (2008) Impact of perturbations to nitrogen oxide emissions from global aviation. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres , 113 (D11) , Article D11305. 10.1029/2007JD009140. Green open access

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Abstract

The atmospheric response to perturbations in NOx emissions from global air traffic is investigated by performing a coherent set of sensitivity experiments. The importance of cruise altitude, size of the emission perturbation and geographical distribution of emissions is systematically analyzed using two global chemistry transport models and an off-line radiative transfer model. NOx emissions from a contemporary aircraft inventory have been used to assess the impact of global air traffic on ozone and methane. In further experiments the NOx emissions are perturbed, in turn, in 16 cruise altitude bands between 5 and 15 km altitude. In the p-TOMCAT model we diagnose an annual mean ozone increase of up to 6 ppbv and a decrease in the methane lifetime of 3% due to global air traffic in 2002. Associated radiative forcings of 30 mWm(-2) for ozone and -19 mWm(-2) for methane are diagnosed; a simple method is used to estimate the forcing due to the methane-induced ozone change and this yields an additional -11 mWm(-2). Results show that up to the tropopause, ozone production efficiency and resulting impacts increase per emitted mass of NOx with the altitude of the perturbation. Between 11 and 15 km we find that the geographical location of the NOx emissions plays a crucial role in the potential O-3 impact and lifetime change of CH4. We show that changes in flight routing in this altitude range can have significant consequences for O-3 and CH4 concentrations. Overall, we demonstrate a linear relationship in the atmospheric response to small emission changes which can be used to predict the importance of perturbations about the reference aircraft emissions profile, provided the geographical distribution of the emissions is not altered significantly.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of perturbations to nitrogen oxide emissions from global aviation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2007JD009140
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007JD009140
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords: Aircraft NOx emissions, Chemistry transport models, Tropospheric ozone, United States, Mozaic data, Part 1, Climate, Performance, Sensitivities, Stratosphere
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1333431
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