Condensation trails (contrails) are the white trails that sometimes form when an aircraft is cruising in cold, humid atmospheres and are believed to be linked to the formation of cirrus clouds - which is thought to be a contributing factor to climate change. Despite significant research in this area, scientists remain uncertain as to the specific contribution of contrails to adverse climate change.
To assist in increasing understanding of climate change science in the atmosphere, Cathay Pacific is supporting the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) Project, which is part of the European Commission’s European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. In 2013, one of our Airbus A330-300 aircraft has been equipped with scientific instruments designed for the monitoring of climate change contributors such as aerosol, cloud articles and atmospheric composition. The results will form part of a database for science and policy users, including the provision of real time data for weather prediction, air quality forecasting and climate models. More information can be found on their website: www.iagos.org.