V. K. Soni


2 Impact of Unusual Dust Event on Regional Climate in India

Authors: Kanika Taneja, V. K. Soni, Kafeel Ahmad, Shamshad Ahmad


A severe dust storm generated from a western disturbance over north Pakistan and adjoining Afghanistan affected the north-west region of India between May 28 and 31, 2014, resulting in significant reductions in air quality and visibility. The air quality of the affected region degraded drastically. PM10 concentration peaked at a very high value of around 1018 μgm-3 during dust storm hours of May 30, 2014 at New Delhi. The present study depicts aerosol optical properties monitored during the dust days using ground based multi-wavelength Sky radiometer over the National Capital Region of India. High Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) at 500 nm was observed as 1.356 ± 0.19 at New Delhi while Angstrom exponent (Alpha) dropped to 0.287 on May 30, 2014. The variation in the Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) and real n(λ) and imaginary k(λ) parts of the refractive index indicated that the dust event influences the optical state to be more absorbing. The single scattering albedo, refractive index, volume size distribution and asymmetry parameter (ASY) values suggested that dust aerosols were predominant over the anthropogenic aerosols in the urban environment of New Delhi. The large reduction in the radiative flux at the surface level caused significant cooling at the surface. Direct Aerosol Radiative Forcing (DARF) was calculated using a radiative transfer model during the dust period. A consistent increase in surface cooling was evident, ranging from -31 Wm-2 to -82 Wm-2 and an increase in heating of the atmosphere from 15 Wm-2 to 92 Wm-2 and -2 Wm-2 to 10 Wm-2 at top of the atmosphere.

Keywords: dust storm, aerosol optical properties, sky radiometer, radiative transfer model

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1 Seasonal Variability of Aerosol Optical Properties and Their Radiative Effects over Indo-Gangetic Plain in India

Authors: Kanika Taneja, V. K. Soni, S. D. Attri, Kafeel Ahmad, Shamshad Ahmad


Aerosols represent an important component of earth-atmosphere system and have a profound impact on the global and regional climate. With the growing population and urbanization, the aerosol load in the atmosphere over the Indian region is found to be increasing. Several studies have reported that the aerosol optical depth over the northern part of India is higher as compared to the southern part. The northern India along the Indo-Gangetic plain is often influenced with dust transported from the Thar Desert in northwestern India and from Arabian Peninsula during the pre-monsoon season. Seasonal variations in aerosol optical and radiative properties were examined using data retrieved from ground based multi-wavelength Prede Sun/sky radiometer (POM-02) over Delhi, Rohtak, Jodhpur and Varanasi for the period April 2011-April 2013. These stations are part of the Skynet-India network of India Meteorological Department. The Sun/sky radiometer (POM-02) has advantage over other instruments that it can be calibrated on-site. These aerosol optical properties retrieved from skyradiometer observations are further used to analyze the Direct Aerosol Radiative Forcing (DARF) over the study locations.

Keywords: radiative forcing, aerosol optical properties, indo- gangetic plain, sky radiometer

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