Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
Earth Syst. Dynam., 6, 555–568, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-6-555-2015
Earth Syst. Dynam., 6, 555–568, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-6-555-2015

Research article 02 Sep 2015

Research article | 02 Sep 2015

Ice supersaturation and the potential for contrail formation in a changing climate

E. A. Irvine and K. P. Shine

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Short summary
Aviation impacts on climate via contrails, which are often clearly visible in the sky. Contrail formation requires particular cold/moist atmospheric conditions at aircraft cruise altitudes. Climate change is expected to change these conditions. Using simulations from several climate models we conclude that, by 2100, the probability of contrail formation could decrease from 11 to 7%, mostly due to changing conditions in the tropics. There is no consensus on the likely change in mid-latitudes.
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