Articles | Volume 25, issue 11
29 Nov 2007
 | 29 Nov 2007

Temporal heterogeneity in aerosol characteristics and the resulting radiative impacts at a tropical coastal station – Part 2: Direct short wave radiative forcing

S. Suresh Babu, K. Krishna Moorthy, and S. K. Satheesh

Abstract. Seasonal distinctiveness in the microphysical and optical properties of columnar and near-surface (in the well mixed region) aerosols, associated with changes in the prevailing synoptic conditions, were delineated based on extensive (spread over 4 years) and collocated measurements at the tropical coastal location, Trivandrum (8.55° N; 76.97° E, 3 m a.m.s.l.), and the results were summarized in Part 1 of this two-part paper. In Part 2, we use these properties to develop empirical seasonal aerosol models, which represent the observed features fairly accurately, separately for winter monsoon season (WMS, December through March), inter-monsoon season (IMS, April and May), summer monsoon season (SMS, June through September) and post monsoon season (PMS, October and November). The models indicate a significant transformation in the aerosol environment from an anthropogenic-dominance in WMS to a natural-dominance in SMS. The modeled aerosol properties are used for estimating the direct, short wave aerosol radiative forcing, under clear-sky conditions. Our estimates show large seasonal changes. Under clear sky conditions, the daily averaged short-wave TOA forcing changes from its highest values during WMS, to the lowest values in SMS; this seasonal change being brought-in mainly by the reduction in the abundance and the mass fraction (to the composite) of black carbon aerosols and of accumulation mode aerosols. The resulting atmospheric forcing varies from the highest, (47 to 53 W m−2) in WMS to the lowest (22 to 26 W m−2) in SMS.