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Estimating the climate impact of linear contrails using the UK Met Office climate model

Rap, A, Forster, PM, Haywood, JM, Jones, A and Boucher, O (2010) Estimating the climate impact of linear contrails using the UK Met Office climate model. Geophyscial Research Letters, 37. ISSN 0094-8276


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The HadGEM2 global climate model is employed to investigate some of the linear contrail effects on climate. Our study parameterizes linear contrails as a thin layer of aerosol. We find that at 100 times the air traffic of year 2000, linear contrails would change the equilibrium global-mean temperature by +0.13 K, corresponding to a climate sensitivity of 0.3 K/(Wm(-2)) and a climate efficacy of 31% (significantly smaller than the only previously published estimate of 59%). Our model suggests that contrails cause a slight warming of the surface and, as noted by most global warming modelling studies, land areas are affected more than the oceans. Also, unlike the contrail coverage and radiative forcing, the contrail temperature change response is not geographically correlated with air traffic patterns. In terms of the contrail impact on precipitation, the main feature is the northern shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. Finally, our model strongly indicates that the contrail impact on both the diurnal temperature range and regional climate is significantly smaller than some earlier studies suggested.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 American Geophysical Union. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: diurnal-temperature-range, cirrus trends
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2011 09:39
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 14:38
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GL045161
Status: Published
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Identification Number: 10.1029/2010GL045161
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43203

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