Climate impacts of aviation

The fifth scientific axis aims to bring together in a climate model the advances made in the modelling and assessment of the various aviation factors that modify the global radiation balance, so as to assess the total impact of aviation on climate.

This assessment is first done to estimate the current contribution of aviation to radiative forcing and climate change. Assessments are then carried out for different scenarios of future aviation developments, in order to estimate the impact of different parameters such as traffic growth, technological developments or the introduction of new fuels.

The first objective is to reconstruct all air traffic emissions from flight databases and their spatial and temporal distribution over the globe, and defining scenarios for the future evolution of air transport.

Spatial representation of flights from FlightRadar24 on 16 April 2019

The second objective is to extend and improve the IPSL global climate model by incorporating the parameterisations developed or improved by axes 1 to 4 with respect to contrails and induced cirrus clouds, aerosols and gaseous chemical compounds and their impacts on atmospheric chemistry and clouds.

The third objective is to estimate the CO2 and non-CO2 forcings from aviation and their past evolution, and to estimate the resulting climate changes.

The fourth objective is to develop a version of the OSCAR model adapted to the climate impact of aviation in order to be able to simulate various future scenarios at lower computational cost than with a full climate model.