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Satellite Observations of the Impact of Individual Aircraft on Ice Crystal Number in Thin Cirrus Clouds

Abstract : Contrails can persist in cloud-free supersaturated air, increasing high-cloud cover, and inside natural cirrus cloud, modifying the microphysical properties of them. The latter effect is almost unknown, partly because of the lack of height-resolved measurements and the capability of measurements to penetrate inside the cloud. New retrievals of the ice crystal number concentration from combined satellite cloud radar and lidar measurements (CloudSat/CALIPSO; DARDAR-Nice algorithm) now allow for satellite-based assessment inside the clouds. We investigate this issue at intersections between the aircraft flight tracks and these retrieval profiles. Regions behind the aircraft inside the flight track were compared to the adjacent regions and to ahead of the aircraft, along the satellites' profiles, where DARDAR-Nice identify geometrically thin cirrus clouds. This comparison revealed a statistically significant increase of 25% and 54% in the concentration of ice crystals with the minimum size of 5 μm around 300-540-m beneath an aircraft's flight altitude.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 7:57:30 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 3, 2022 - 3:40:17 AM

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Sajedeh Marjani, Matthias Tesche, Peter Bräuer, Odran Sourdeval, Johannes Quaas. Satellite Observations of the Impact of Individual Aircraft on Ice Crystal Number in Thin Cirrus Clouds. Geophysical Research Letters, 2022, 49, ⟨10.1029/2021GL096173⟩. ⟨insu-03686319⟩

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