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Aviation Impact on Atmospheric Aerosol Observed from IAGOS-CARIBIC Flying Laboratory

C. Mahnke1, R. Gomes1, U. Bundke1, A. Petzold1, H. Ziereis2 and A. Zahn3

1Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8 Troposphere, Jülich, Germany; +49 2461/61-96419, E-mail: c.mahnke@fz-juelich.de
2German Aerospace Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
3Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Campus Alpin, Karlsruhe, Germany

The impact of aviation on atmospheric aerosol, its processing, and its effects on climate is still associated with large uncertainties. For a dedicated analysis of the aviation related atmospheric aerosol processes we are identifying aviation exhaust plumes observed during flights of the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container (IAGOS-CARIBIC) Flying Laboratory.

The European Research Infrastructure IAGOS (www.iagos.org) is using in-service aircraft as observation platforms, equipped with instrumentation for measuring gaseous species, aerosols and cloud particles. From July 2018 to March 2020 the IAGOS-CARIBIC Flying Laboratory (equipped with 15 scientific instruments) conducted 42 operational flights aboard a Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 passenger aircraft. These flights covered routes between Munich (Germany) and destinations in North America, South Africa, and East Asia (see Fig. 1).

The IAGOS-CARIBIC data set resulting from these flights includes a wide variety of aerosol and trace gas measurements, which could be fully synchronised for a subset of 36 flights. Based on the 1 Hz resolved NOy and aerosol data sets, an algorithm was developed to automatically identify unique aircraft exhaust plumes (Fig. 2). First analysis detected about 1100 unique aviation exhausted plumes (see Fig. 1). Furthermore, these plumes were categorised as tropospheric (37%) and stratospheric (63%) as well as in-cloud (12%) and clear sky (82%) conditions.

The ongoing analysis of this data set provides a wide statistical and global insight into the impact of aviation on aerosol and trace gas properties in the upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere under different atmospheric conditions covering all annual seasons.

Acknowledgments: Part of this study is founded by the ACACIA project (EU Grant Agreement Number 875036).

Figure 1

Figure 1. Map of the analysed IAGOS-CARIBIC flights from 2018 to 2020 and the detected aviation exhaust plumes.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Example of unique aviation exhaust plumes (green dots), detected by means of matching peaks in the aerosol particle mixing ratio and the NOy mixing ratio.