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Pathak B.,Dibrugarh University | Subba T.,Dibrugarh University | Dahutia P.,Dibrugarh University | Bhuyan P.K.,Dibrugarh University | And 16 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2016

Four years (2010-2014) of spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) data from 4 Indian Space Research Organisation's ARFINET (Aerosol Radiative Forcing over India) stations (Shillong, Agartala, Imphal and Dibrugarh) in the North-Eastern Region (NER) of India (lying between 22-30°N and 89-98°E) are synthesized to evolve a regional aerosol representation, for the first time. Results show that the columnar AOD (an indicator of the column abundance of aerosols) is highest at Agartala (0.80 ± 0.24) in the west and lowest at Imphal (0.59 ± 0.23) in the east in the pre-monsoon season due to intense anthropogenic bio-mass burning in this region aided by long-range transport from the high aerosol laden regions of the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), polluted Bangladesh and Bay of Bengal. In addition to local biogenic aerosols and pollutants emitted from brick kilns, oil/gas fields, household bio-fuel/fossil-fuel, vehicles, industries. Aerosol distribution and climatic impacts show a west to east gradient within the NER. For example, the climatological mean AODs are 0.67 ± 0.26, 0.52 ± 0.14, 0.40 ± 0.17 and 0.41 ± 0.23 respectively in Agartala, Shillong, Imphal and Dibrugarh which are geographically located from west to east within the NER. The average aerosol burden in NER ranks second highest with climatological mean AOD 0.49 ± 0.2 next to the Indo-Gangetic Plains where the climatological mean AOD is 0.64 ± 0.2 followed by the South and South-East Asia region. Elevated aerosol layers are observed over the eastern most stations Dibrugarh and Imphal, while at the western stations the concentrations are high near the surface. The climate implications of aerosols are evaluated in terms of aerosol radiative forcing (ARF) and consequent heating of the atmosphere in the region which follows AOD and exhibit high values in pre-monsoon season at all the locations except in Agartala. The highest ARF in the atmosphere occurs in the pre-monsoon season ranging from 48.6 Wm-2 in Agartala to 25.1 Wm-2 in Imphal. Winter radiative forcing follows that in pre-monsoon season at these locations. The heating rate is high at 1.2 K day-1 and 1.0 K day-1 over Shillong and Dibrugarh respectively in this season. However, Agartala experiences higher surface forcing (-56.5 Wm-2) and consequent larger heating of the atmosphere of 1.6 K day-1 in winter. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Joshi H.,Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational science ARIES | Joshi H.,Kumaun University | Naja M.,Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational science ARIES | Singh K.P.,Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology | And 6 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

Long-term (2009-2012) data from ground-based measurements of aerosol black carbon (BC) from a semi-urban site, Pantnagar (29.0°N, 79.5°E, 231m amsl), in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) near the Himalayan foothills are analyzed to study the regional characterization. Large variations are seen in BC at both diurnal and seasonal scales, associated with the mesoscale and synoptic meteorological processes, and local/regional anthropogenic activities. BC diurnal variations show two peaks (morning and evening) arising from the combined effects of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) dynamics and local emissions. The diurnal amplitudes as well as the rates of diurnal evolution are the highest in winter season, followed by autumn, and the lowest in summer-monsoon. BC exhibits nearly an inverse relation with mixing layer depth in all seasons; being strongest in winter (R2=0.89) and weakest (R2=0.33) in monsoon (July-August). Unlike BC, co-located aerosol optical depths (AOD) and aerosol absorption are highest in spring over IGP, probably due to the presence of higher abundances of aerosols (including dust) above the ABL (in the free troposphere). AOD (500nm) showed annual peak (>0.6) in May-June, dominated by coarse mode, while fine mode aerosols dominated in late autumn and early winter. Aerosols profiles from CALIPSO show highest values close to the surface in winter/autumn, similar to the feature seen in surface BC, whereas at altitudes>2km, the extinction is maximum in spring/summer. WRF-Chem model is used to simulate BC temporal variations and then compared with observed BC. The model captures most of the important features of the diurnal and seasonal variations but significantly underestimated the observed BC levels, suggesting improvements in diurnal and seasonal varying BC emissions apart from the boundary layer processes. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Gogoi M.M.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Babu S.S.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Jayachandran V.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Moorthy K.K.,Indian Space Research Organization Head Quarters | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres | Year: 2015

The seasonality and mutual dependence of aerosol optical properties and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity under varying meteorological conditions at the high-altitude Nainital site (∼2 km) in the Indo-Gangetic Plains were examined using nearly year-round measurements (June 2011 to March 2012) at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement mobile facility as part of the Regional Aerosol Warming Experiment-Ganges Valley Aerosol Experiment of the Indian Space Research Organization and the U.S. Department of Energy. The results from collocated measurements provided enhanced aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients, CCN concentrations, and total condensation nuclei concentrations during the dry autumn and winter months. The CCN concentration (at a supersaturation of 0.46) was higher during the periods of high aerosol absorption (single scattering albedo (SSA) < 0.80) than during the periods of high aerosol scattering (SSA > 0.85), indicating that the aerosol composition seasonally changes and influences the CCN activity. The monthly mean CCN activation ratio (at a supersaturation of 0.46) was highest (>0.7) in late autumn (November); this finding is attributed to the contribution of biomass-burning aerosols to CCN formation at high supersaturation conditions. ©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Suresh Babu S.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Nair V.S.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Gogoi M.M.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Krishna Moorthy K.,Indian Space Research Organization Head Quarters
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2016

To characterize the vertical distribution of aerosols and its seasonality (especially the single scattering albedo, SSA) extensive profiling of aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients have been carried out using an instrumented aircraft from seven base stations spread across the Indian mainland during winter 2012 and spring/pre-monsoon 2013 under the Regional Aerosol Warming Experiment (RAWEX). Spatial variation of the vertical profiles of the asymmetry parameter, the wavelength exponent of the absorption coefficient and the single scattering albedo, derived from the measurements, are used to infer the source characteristics of winter and pre-monsoon aerosols as well as the seasonality of free tropospheric aerosols. The relatively high value of the wavelength exponent of absorption coefficient over most of the regions indicates the contribution from biomass burning and dust aerosols up to lower free tropospheric altitudes. A clear enhancement in aerosol loading and its absorbing nature is seen at lower free troposphere levels (above the planetary boundary layer) over the entire mainland during spring/pre-monsoon season compared to winter, whereas concentration of aerosols within the boundary layer showed a decrease from winter to spring. This could have significant implications on the aerosol heating structure over the Indian region and hence the regional climate. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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