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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d91dec29

"Air-Traffic Emissions," R.A. Egli (Etzelstr. 15, CH-8200 Schaffhausen, Switz.), Environment, 33(9), 2-5, Nov. 1991.

Gives an overview of two climatic effects of aircraft exhaust emissions. Water vapor emitted above the 9 km level must be considered a pollutant, because it increases cirrus cloud formation which helps warm the Earth. Nitrogen oxides from aircraft engines contribute to ozone depletion in the stratosphere. The international community should take a number of measures to reduce these effects, including restricting the growth of air traffic through negotiated taxes on fuel, abolishing state subsidy of air traffic, and abandoning plans for commercial supersonic aircraft. (These arguments are presented with more technical details in Environ. Conserv., 18(1), 73-74; 44, Spr. 1991.)

Item #d91dec30

"The Effect of Aircraft Emissions on Tropospheric Ozone in the Northern Hemisphere," J.P. Beck (Nat. Inst. Public Health (RIVM), POB 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands), C.E. Reeves et al., Atmos. Environ., 26A(1), 17-29, 1992.

A 2-D (longitude-height) model averaged from 30 N to 60 N was used with an emission inventory constructed from fuel consumption and civil aviation statistics. The addition of 1987 emissions to a standard atmosphere caused increases in the 8-12 km layer of O3 (12%), NOx (40%) and OH (10%). The O3 increase was considerably higher when military aircraft and future aircraft activity were included, and was sensitive to the lightning source mechanism for NOx.

Item #d91dec31

"Impact of Heterogeneous Chemistry on Model-Calculated Ozone Change Due to High Speed Civil Transport Aircraft," D.K. Weisenstein (Atmos. Environ. Res. Inc., 840 Memorial Dr., Cambridge MA 02139), M.K.W. Ko et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(11), 1991-1994, Nov. 1991.

A 2-D model including only gas-phase chemistry predicts that an injection of 1 megaton of NO2 per year at 17-20 km would decrease column O3 by 3-6% at northern mid-latitudes. However, inclusion of the reaction N2O5 + H2O yields 2HNO3 acting on the global sulfate aerosol layer greatly decreases the sensitivity of O3, with the calculated O3 column increasing by up to 0.4% for the same injection of NO2.

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