Contrails in the Climate System: from Observation to Impact Modeling and Prediction


Project description
The observation, modelling and prediction of contrails and high clouds is an important and challenging area of atmospheric science, especially with regard to the interaction with air traffic and their immediate and long-term climate impact. The Franco-German project CONTRAILS aims to develop and combine state-of-the-art, trustworthy AI methods and physical models to improve the identification, characterisation, data assimilation and prediction of contrails and high clouds. Specifically, new ground-based all-sky camera observations and satellite-based cloud observations in the infrared and visible range will be automatically evaluated for contrail and high cloud visibility in real time using artificial intelligence methods. The results are automatically fed into the observation pool for the analyses of the numerical weather forecast, where they provide a significantly improved formation probability of contrails and the climate-relevant clouds that arise from them. The results of this project can provide tools for monitoring the effects of contrails on the climate and thus lay the foundations for future experimental tests to avoid contrails by optimising flight paths.

Germany: German Weather Service (DWD) (lead), Xelera Technologies
France: Laboratoire atmosphères, milieux, observations spatiales (lead), Thales Research & Technology, Reuniwatt SAS

March 2022 - February 2025

Budget (Germany)
Total costs: € 1.15 million
Funding: € 1.15 million

Contact person

German Weather Service

Prof. Dr. Roland Potthast