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New concepts to reduce climate effects of aviation: DLR project WeCare started

June 2013

In the beginning of June the kick-off meeting of the new DLR project WeCare took place. A couple of DLR institutes participate in this project which is led by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics. WeCare runs until 2017. Air traffic is a fast growing business which currently contributes by about 5 percent to the global climate change, mainly by non-CO2 effects. A sustainable growth is a challenge that WeCare will take up substantially. Non-CO2 effects (the formation of cirrus clouds originating from condensation trails and ozone for instance) have a strong spatial variability caused by meteorological processes. This relationship will be determined and utilized in the optimization of flight paths to realize an eco-efficient air traffic. The resulting cost-benefit analysis will be compared with alternative conceptions of aircraft design and flight guidance to assess the potentials of reducing climate effects. The efforts are accompanied by flight experiments to verify the relevant process chain from the emission to changes in climate-active trace substances and cloud properties.

Contact: Dr. Volker Grewe


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