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Selected topics on the interaction between cirrus clouds and embedded contrails

by K. Gierens
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()

Abstract

Persistent contrails and natural cirrus clouds often coexist in the\nupper troposphere and contrails can be embedded within cirrus clouds.\nThe present paper deals with some questions regarding the interaction\nof cirrus clouds and embedded contrails. I have selected only questions\nthat can be answered by analytical means. I find that (1) the emission\nindex for water vapour is only slightly changed when an aircraft\ncrosses a cirrus cloud, (2) that contrail formation is not affected\nby an ambient cirrus, (3) that cirrus ice crystals entrained into\nthe trailing wing tip vortex do not efficiently retard the sublimation\nof contrail ice crystals, and (4) that cirrus can start to dissolve\nan embedded contrail after a couple of hours by aggregation.

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