The logical basis of the equations which are solved numerically in models of atmospheric structure and composition is examined, with the conclusion that even the most advanced examples must be regarded as empirical devices to be judged by results (some of which are impressive). The question of possible change of climate resulting from aircraft propulsion emissions into the high atmosphere is briefly reviewed. It is concluded that in the foreseen future, any impact of high altitude commercial flight on climate will be very small and not detectable against the background of natural fluctuations. Measurements of the water vapor content of air in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere are reviewed. They are interpreted to indicate that significant upward movement of air through a pressure level of about 100 mb, by processes of any scale, occurs only in equatorial latitudes, but they leave uncertain the mechanism of the upward transfer. Using this hypothesis, the mass balance of the nitrogen species is calculated and differences in the results of various modeling procedures are exposed. Two phenomena peculiar to the immediate wake of the aircraft are very briefly considered - the first, the possible rapid conversion of NO to HNO3 in the hot highly concentrated exhaust, the second, formation of condensation trails. It is suggested that in neither problem can an investigation be profitably reopened at this time. (Author)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Center for the Environment and Man, Incorporated

    275 Windsor Street
    Hartford, CT  United States  06120

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • Robinson, G D
  • Publication Date: 1979-11

Media Info

  • Pagination: 105 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00326288
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CEM-4232-667, FAA/EE-80-16
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FA77WA-4055
  • Files: NTIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 11 2002 12:00AM