Sensitivity of stratospheric ozone to present and possible future aircraft emissions

Donald J. Wuebbles, Douglas E. Kinnison

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The aircraft industry is showing renewed interest in the development of supersonic, high flying aircraft for intercontinental passenger flights. There appears to be confidence that such high-speed civil transports can be designed, and that these aircraft will be economically viable as long as they are also environmentally acceptable. As such, it is important to establish the potential for such environmental problems early in the aircraft design. Initial studies with LLNL models of global atmospheric chemical, radiative, and transport processes have indicated that substantial decreases in stratospheric ozone concentrations could result from emissions of NOx from aircraft flying in the stratosphere, depending on the fleet size and magnitude of the engine emissions. The purpose of this study is to build on previous analyses of potential aircraft emission effects on ozone in order to better define the sensitivity of ozone to such emissions. In addition to NOx, the effects of potential emissions of carbon monoxide and water vapor are also examined. More realistic scenarios for the emissions as a function of altitude, latitude, and season are examined in comparison to prior analyses. These studies indicate that the effects on ozone are sensitive to the altitude and latitude, as well as the magnitude, of the emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalLecture Notes in Engineering
Issue number60
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the DLR International Colloquium on Air Traffic and the Environment - Background, Tendencies and Potential Global Atmospheric Effects - Bonn, Ger
Duration: Nov 15 1990Nov 16 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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