Aircraft operating at cruise altitudes are the only direct anthropogenic emission sources in the tropopause region at altitudes of 8 to 12 km. Aviation contributes significanly to global warming through emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, aerosol and specifically through aircraft induced cloud modifications. At present, large uncertainties hinder the targetted reduction of individual climate effects from aviation.
Clouds have a multifold impact on the atmosphere. They change the radiation budget, modify the hodrological cycle, offer sites for heterogeneous reactions and transport trace gases to different regions. Particularly the climate impact and the trace gas uptake in cirrus clouds is not understood in detail.
The aim of the Junior Research Group AEROTROP is to study heterogeneous chemistry and the radiative impact of atmospheric particles with a specific focus on aircraft emissions in a wholistic approach combining aircraft measurements, satellite observations, process studies and global modeling.
The Junior Research Group is a project funded by the Helmholtz Association (HGF), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and the Max-Planck-Society (MPG).
The AEROTROP team has organized the two aircraft campaigns CONCERT - CONtrail and Cirrus ExpeRiments with the DLR research aircraft Falcon in 2008 and 2011. The ML-CIRRUS mission on Mid-Latitude Cirrus and Contrail-Cirrus with the new German research aircraft HALO is coordinated by C. Voigt and A. Minikin.