Pre-monsoon aerosol characteristics over the Indo-Gangetic Basin: implications to climatic impact
- 1Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (Branch), Prof Ramnath Vij Marg, New Delhi, India
- 2Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Dr Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune, India
- 3Department of Geophysics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
- 4Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, India
- 5Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique, Lille University/CNRS, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
- 6NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
Abstract. Sun/sky radiometer observations over the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) region during pre-monsoon (from April–June 2009) have been processed to analyze various aerosol characteristics in the central and eastern IGB region, represented by Kanpur and Gandhi College, respectively, and their impacts on climate in terms of radiative forcing. Monthly mean aerosol optical depth (AOD at 500 nm) and corresponding Angstrom Exponent (AE at 440–870 nm, given within the brackets) was observed to be about 0.50 (0.49) and 0.51 (0.65) in April, 0.65 (0.74) and 0.67 (0.91) in May and 0.69 (0.45) and 0.77 (0.71) in June at Kanpur and Gandhi College, respectively. Results show a positive gradient in AOD and AE from central to eastern IGB region with the advancement of the pre-monsoon, which may be caused due to diverse geographical location of the stations having different meteorological conditions and emission sources. Relatively lower SSA was observed at the eastern IGB (0.89) than the central IGB (0.92) region during the period, which suggests relative dominance of absorbing aerosols at the eastern IGB as compared to central IGB region. The absorbing aerosol optical properties over the station suggest that the atmospheric absorption over central IGB region is mainly due to dominance of coarse-mode dust particles; however, absorption over eastern IGB region is mainly due to dominance of fine-particle pollution. The derived properties from sun/sky radiometer during pre-monsoon period are used in a radiative-transfer model to estimate aerosol radiative forcing at the top-of-the atmosphere (TOA) and at the surface over the IGB region. Relatively large TOA and surface cooling was observed at the eastern IGB as compared to the central IGB region. This translates into large heating of the atmosphere ranging from 0.45 to 0.55 K day−1 at Kanpur and from 0.45 to 0.59 K day−1 at Gandhi College.