Articles | Volume 21, issue 10
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7429–7450, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-7429-2021

Special issue: BLUESKY atmospheric composition measurements by aircraft during...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7429–7450, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-7429-2021

Research article 18 May 2021

Research article | 18 May 2021

Air traffic and contrail changes over Europe during COVID-19: a model study

Ulrich Schumann et al.

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Cited articles

Abrahamson, J. P., Zelina, J., Andac, M. G., and Vander Wal, R. L.: Predictive model development for aviation black carbon mass emissions from alternative and conventional fuels at ground and cruise, Environ. Sci. Technol., 50, 12048–12055, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b03749 2016. 
Bauer, P., Thorpe, A., and Brunet, G.: The quiet revolution of numerical weather prediction, Nature, 525, 47–55, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14956, 2015. 
Bickel, M., Ponater, M., Bock, L., Burkhardt, U., and Reineke, S.: Estimating the effective radiative forcing of contrail cirrus, J. Climate, 33, 1991–2005, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0467.1, 2020. 
Burkhardt, U. and Kärcher, B.: Global radiative forcing from contrail cirrus, Nature Clim. Change, 1, 54–58, https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE1068, 2011. 
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Short summary
The roughly 70 % reduction of air traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic from March–August 2020 compared to 2019 provides a test case for the relationship between air traffic density, contrails, and their radiative forcing of climate change. This paper investigates the induced traffic and contrail changes in a model study. Besides strong weather changes, the model results indicate aviation-induced cirrus and top-of-the-atmosphere irradiance changes, which can be tested with observations.
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