Determination of humidity and temperature fluctuations based on MOZAIC data and parametrisation of persistent contrail coverage for general circulation models

Gierens, K. M.; Schumann, U.; Smit, H. G. J.; Helten, M.; Zängl, G.

Humidity and temperature fluctuations at pressure levels between 166 and 290 hPa on the grid scale of general circulation models for a region covered by the routes of airliners, mainly over the Atlantic, have been determined by evaluation of the data obtained with almost 2000 flights within the MOZAIC programme. It is found that the distributions of the fluctuations cannot be modelled by Gaussian distributions, because large fluctuations appear with a relatively high frequency. Lorentz distributions were used for the analytical representation of the fluctuation distributions. From these a joint probability distribution has been derived for simultaneous temperature and humidity fluctuations. This function together with the criteria for the formation and persistence of contrails are used to derive the maximum possible fractional coverage of persistent contrails in a grid cell of a GCM. This can be employed in a statistical formulation of contrail appearance in a climate model.

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Gierens, K. M. / Schumann, U. / Smit, H. G. J. / et al: Determination of humidity and temperature fluctuations based on MOZAIC data and parametrisation of persistent contrail coverage for general circulation models. 1997. Springer Verlag.

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