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Title:Evaluating the regional impact of aircraft emissions on climate and the capabilities of simplified climate model
Author(s):Zhang, Jun
Advisor(s):Wuebbles, Donald James
Department / Program:Atmospheric Sciences
Discipline:Atmospheric Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Aviation emissions
Climate change
Abstract:Unlike other transportation sectors where pollutant emissions usually occur only near the Earth’s surface, aviation emissions happen primarily at altitudes of 8-12 km above the surface, impacting the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere (UTLS). At these altitudes, the pollutants can contribute significantly to greenhouse gas (GHGs) concentration and to the formation of secondary aerosol, which can have an impact on climate change. This thesis has two parts: the first part examines the capabilities of a simplified model that is used by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for considering the impacts of aviation emissions in policy-related studies; the second part examines the regional effects on climate forcing resulting from aviation emissions. Most previous studies have focused on aviation effects on climate using globally-averaged metric values, which do not give information about the spatial variability of the effects. While aviation emissions have significant spatial variability in the sign and magnitude of response, the strength of regional effects is hidden due to the global averaging of climate change effects. In this study, the chemistry-climate Community Atmosphere Model (CAM-chem5) is used in analyses to examine the regional climate effects based on 4 different latitude bands (90oS- 28oS, 28oS-28oN, 28oN-60oN, 60oN-90oN) and 3 regions (contiguous United States, Europe and East Asia). The most regionally important aviation emissions are short-lived species, such as black carbon and sulfates, emitted from aircraft directly, and O3-short induced by NOx emission indirectly. The regionality of these short-lived impacts are explored and compared to the globally-averaged effects. Studying aviation emission on climate usually relies on computationally expensive chemistry-climate models. However, for aviation policy analyses, a wide range of different scenarios need to be evaluated, making the development of simple models like the Aviation environmental Portfolio Management Tool (APMT), developed for the FAA by MIT, very useful. We evaluate how well the model determines climate effects from aviation based on the Aviation Climate Change Research Initiative (ACCRI) findings and more recent analyses. We test the Carbon Cycle and Energy Balance model of APMT, and explore the non-linearity effects in using such a simplified model.
Issue Date:2017-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Jun Zhang
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-02
Date Deposited:2017-08

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