Journal article

Selected topics on the interaction between cirrus clouds and embedded contrails

Gierens K ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 12, issue 24 (2012) pp. 11943-11949

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

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  • K. Gierens

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