estimated to contribute 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and 3.5 percent of global radiative forcing, which is primarily driven by contrail formation (IPCC, 1999). In global terms the climatic impact of the 10 percent of air traffic leading to contrail occurrence is of the same order of magnitude as the 90 percent of air traffic not leading to contrail occurrence. Contrail formation could be limited using air traffic control and weather knowledge, thereby mitigating the climatic impact of aviation. With the ability to mitigate the climate impacts of aviation may come costs and responsibilities. Indeed, aircraft emissions are already being taxed in the European Union to begin accounting for their environmental cost.

Key Points Identified by Presenters on Verifying Forecast Accuracy

  • Two- to 6-hour forecasts of convective weather useful for aviation purposes need to be probabilistic; need to be designed for utility and value to the user; need to have a high level of specificity in space and time, and need to be generated automatically with standardized outputs, low latency, and high reliability.

  • Forecast characteristics of particular importance to the aviation community include spatial coverage and timing of convection, storm strength and height, storm characteristics and orientation, and storm evolution.

  • Relating convective storm meteorological features such as spatial coverage, organization, height, strength, stage of development, and lightning activity to key operational factors such as route availability and the capacity of en-route sectors and terminals can be used to quantify forecast value to operational users, to assess improvements in forecast capability, and to furnish better guidance to operational users of the forecasts.

  • Effective verification schemes accommodate identification of ways to improve forecasts overall, the ability to trade off forecast capabilities, easy interpretation of forecast quality, and intercomparison of different forecasts.

  • With the ability to control air traffic regarding weather conditions may come the opportunity to plan air traffic so as to minimize environmental damage.

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