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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 15, 1057-1066, 1997
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-997-1057-3
© European Geosciences Union 1997
Ann. Geophys., 15, 1057-1066, 1997
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-997-1057-3
© European Geosciences Union 1997

  31 Aug 1997

31 Aug 1997

Determination of humidity and temperature fluctuations based on MOZAIC data and parametrisation of persistent contrail coverage for general circulation models

K. M. Gierens1, U. Schumann1, H. G. J. Smit2, M. Helten2, and G. Zängl1 K. M. Gierens et al.
  • 1DLR, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, D-82230 Weßling, Germany
  • 2Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institut für Chemie und Dynamik (ICG2), Postfach 1913, D-52425 Jülich, Germany

Abstract. Humidity and temperature fluctuations at pressure levels between 166 and 290 hPa on the grid scale of general circulation models for a region covered by the routes of airliners, mainly over the Atlantic, have been determined by evaluation of the data obtained with almost 2000 flights within the MOZAIC programme. It is found that the distributions of the fluctuations cannot be modelled by Gaussian distributions, because large fluctuations appear with a relatively high frequency. Lorentz distributions were used for the analytical representation of the fluctuation distributions. From these a joint probability distribution has been derived for simultaneous temperature and humidity fluctuations. This function together with the criteria for the formation and persistence of contrails are used to derive the maximum possible fractional coverage of persistent contrails in a grid cell of a GCM. This can be employed in a statistical formulation of contrail appearance in a climate model.

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