Small- and medium-scale effects of high-flying aircraft exhausts on the atmospheric composition
Abstract. Following numerous model studies of the global impacts of sub- and supersonic aircraft on the atmosphere, this paper assesses the separate aircraft engine exhaust effects of the 45°N cruise flight and at the 10- and 18-km levels of the July atmosphere. A box diffusion photochemical model in the cross-section plane of the flight trajectory is used to compute the effects of gas-phase and heterogeneous reactions on the condensation trail particles in the troposphere, and on the sulphate aerosols in the stratosphere. The enhanced horizontal dispersion of the exhaust plume is considered in the model. A significant but short term depletion of ozone is predicted, which is 99% restored in about 1 h in the wide plume with enhanced horizontal dispersion, but requires more than 24 h in the narrow plume without it. The oxidation rate of NO and NO2 into the HNO3 depends on the OH content in the exhausts and varies in all the cases. The heterogeneous photochemistry has only a small influence on the initial evolution of N2O5 and HO2 in the plume.