Impact of aircraft emissions on NO(x) in the lowermost stratosphere at northern midlatitudes

Y. Kondo, M. Koike, H. Ikeda, B. E. Anderson, K. E. Brunke, Y. Zhao, K. Kita, T. Sugita, H. B. Singh, S. C. Liu, A. Thompson, G. L. Gregory, R. Shetter, G. Sachse, S. A. Vay, E. V. Browell, M. J. Mahoney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Airborne measurements of NO(x), total reactive nitrogen (NO(y)), O3, and condensation nuclei (CN) were made within air traffic corridors over the U.S. and North Atlantic regions (35-60 °N) in the fall of 1997. NO(x) and NO(y) data obtained in the lowermost stratosphere (LS) were examined using the calculated increase in NO(y) (ΔNO(y)) along five-day back trajectories as a parameter to identify possible effects of aircraft on reactive nitrogen. It is very likely that aircraft emissions had a significant impact on the NO(x) levels in the LS inasmuch as the NO(x) mixing ratios at 8.5-12 km were significantly correlated with the independent parameters of aircraft emissions, i.e., ΔNO(y) levels and CN values. In order to estimate quantitatively the impact of aircraft emissions on NO(x) and CN, the background levels of CN and NO(x) at O3 = 100-200 ppbv were derived from the correlations of these quantities with ΔNO(y). On average, the aircraft emissions are estimated to have increased the NO(x) and CN values by 130 pptv and 400 STP cm-3, respectively, which corresponds to 70±30 % and 30±20 % of the observed median values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3065-3068
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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