School of Earth and Environment Leeds University

Alexandru Rap: Research Interests: Aviation Contrails

Climate Modelling of Aviation Linear Contrails

As part of the Omega partnership, I worked on this project with Prof. Piers Forster. Our aim was to incorporate aviation linear contrails into the UK Met Office climate model.

Below are a few results from our parameterisation.

Model predicted linear contrail coverage from Rap et al. (2010), JGR:

Findings from this paper were featured in Robert Henson's Rough Guide to Climate Change, 3rd edition, 2011, within the box The plane truth about contrails.

Equilibrium changes for surface temperature [K] from (a) the enhanced 100x contrails (ECON) and (b) the 2xCO2 experiments, and (c) precipitation [mm/day] from the ECON experiment. The stippling indicates regions where changes are significant at the 5% level. From Rap et al. (2010), GRL:

Climate Modelling of Contrails Spreading Into Cirrus

Case Study of spreading contrail over the UK. The pictures show satellite thermal images of the evolving contrail. This was from a case study published in Haywood et al. (2009), JGR. Our research observed and modelled a single contrail breakout event over the UK. The event had a large effect on radiative forcing.

A detailed study of a COSIC contrail observations flight campaign published in Jones et al. (2012), ACP:

For more details on COSIC, please visit the dedicated COSIC webpage.


Dr. Alexandru Rap, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK; +44 (0) 113 34 37986
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