Publication Abstracts

Jensen et al. 1998

Jensen, E.J., A.S. Ackerman, D.E. Stevens, O.B. Toon, and P. Minnis, 1998: Spreading and growth of contrails in a sheared environment. J. Geophys. Res., 103, 31557-31568, doi:10.1029/98JD02594.

A case study of persistent contrail evolution in a sheared environment is simulated over time-scales of 15-180 min using a large-eddy simulation model with detailed microphysics. Model results are compared to satellite and in situ measurements of persistent contrails from the Subsonic Aircraft: Contrail and Cloud Effects Special Study (SUCCESS) experiment. In simulations with large ambient supersaturations and moderate wind shear, crystals with lengths > 200µm are generated within 45 min by depositional growth. These crystals fall rapidly, and the contrail horizontal extent increases due to the wind shear. Strong radiative heating (with rates up to 10 K/d) drives a local updraft and lofts the contrail core several hundred meters. The observed rate of contrail spreading and maintenance of optical depths larger than 0.05 can be approximately explained simply by growth and precipitation of ice crystals nucleated during the initial contrail formation if the environmental humidity is very high (relative humidity with respect to ice > 125%). This result is consistent with observed high humidities in regions where persistent contrails formed during SUCCESS.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Jensen, E. J. and Ackerman, A. S. and Stevens, D. E. and Toon, O. B. and Minnis, P.},
  title={Spreading and growth of contrails in a sheared environment},
  journal={J. Geophys. Res.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - je02000x
AU  - Jensen, E. J.
AU  - Ackerman, A. S.
AU  - Stevens, D. E.
AU  - Toon, O. B.
AU  - Minnis, P.
PY  - 1998
TI  - Spreading and growth of contrails in a sheared environment
JA  - J. Geophys. Res.
VL  - 103
SP  - 31557
EP  - 31568
DO  - 10.1029/98JD02594
ER  -

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