Nitrogen oxides from high-altitude aircraft: an update of potential effects on ozone

H. S. Johnston, D. E. Kinnison, D. J. Wuebbles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sensitivity study is carried out using chemical-radiative-transport models of the global atmosphere to examine possible effects of future aircraft NOx emissions to stratospheric ozone. The altitude at which NOx emissions cause the largest reduction in the ozone column is about 25 km according to one-dimensional model calculations and about 28 km according to the two-dimensional mode. Maximum ozone reduction occurs for tropical injection. For a given injection, the largest ozone column reductions occur in the polar regions. For very large Clx mixing ratios, NOx emissions can increase the ozone column, partially counteracting the ozone reduction caused by Clx. On the basis of an uncertain estimate of fuel consumption by future stratospheric aircraft, calculations for a fleet of 500 aircraft operating at 22 km with NOx emission properties of 1988 subsonic commercial aircraft engines give global ozone reductions of about 20%. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16,351-16,363
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD13
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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