Articles | Volume 13, issue 19
Research article
11 Oct 2013
Research article |  | 11 Oct 2013

Modeling the present and future impact of aviation on climate: an AOGCM approach with online coupled chemistry

P. Huszar, H. Teyssèdre, M. Michou, A. Voldoire, D. J. L. Olivié, D. Saint-Martin, D. Cariolle, S. Senesi, D. Salas Y Melia, A. Alias, F. Karcher, P. Ricaud, and T. Halenka

Abstract. Our work is among the first that use an atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) with online chemistry to evaluate the impact of future aviation emissions on temperature. Other particularities of our study include non-scaling to the aviation emissions, and the analysis of models' transient response using ensemble simulations. The model we use is the Météo-France CNRM-CM5.1 earth system model extended with the REPROBUS chemistry scheme. The time horizon of our interest is 1940–2100, assuming the A1B SRES scenario. We investigate the present and future impact of aviation emissions of CO2, NOx and H2O on climate, taking into account changes in greenhouse gases, contrails and contrail-induced cirrus (CIC). As in many transport-related impact studies, we distinguish between the climate impacts of CO2 emissions and those of non-CO2 emissions. Aviation-produced aerosol is not considered in the study. Our modeling system simulated a notable sea-ice bias in the Arctic, and therefore results concerning the surface should be viewed with caution. The global averaged near-surface CO2 impact reaches around 0.1 K by the end of the 21st century, while the non-CO2 impact reaches 0.2 K in the second half of the century. The NOx emissions impact is almost negligible in our simulations, as our aviation-induced ozone production is small. As a consequence, the non-CO2 signal is very similar to the CIC signal. The seasonal analysis shows that the strongest warming due to aviation is modeled for the late summer and early autumn. In the stratosphere, a significant cooling is attributed to aviation CO2 emissions (−0.25 K by 2100). A −0.3 K temperature decrease is modeled when considering all the aviation emissions, but no significant signal appears from the CIC or NOx forcings in the stratosphere.

Final-revised paper