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Title: Aerosol Properties and Radiative Forcing over Kanpur during Severe Aerosol Loading Conditions

Atmospheric aerosols over India exhibit large spatio-temporal fluctuation driven by the local monsoon system, emission rates and seasonally-changed air masses. The northern part of India is well-known for its high aerosol loading throughout the year due to anthropogenic emissions, dust influence and biomass burning. On certain circumstances and, under favorable weather conditions, the aerosol load can be severe, causing significant health concerns and climate implications. The present work analyzes the aerosol episode (AE) days and examines the modification in aerosol properties and radiative forcing during the period 2001-2010 based on Kanpur-AERONET sun photometer data. As AEs are considered the days having daily-mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) above the decadal mean + 1 STD (standard deviation); the threshold value is defined at 0.928. The results identify 277 out of 2095 days (13.2%) of AEs over Kanpur, which are most frequently observed during post-monsoon (78 cases, 18.6%) and monsoon (76, 14.7%) seasons due to biomass-burning episodes and dust influence, respectively. On the other hand, the AEs in winter and pre-monsoon are lower in both absolute and percentage values (65, 12.5% and 58, 9.1%, respectively). The modification in aerosol properties on the AE days is strongly related to season. Thus, in post-monsoon andmore » winter the AEs are associated with enhanced presence of fine-mode aerosols and Black Carbon from anthropogenic pollution and any kind of burning, while in pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons they are mostly associated with transported dust. Aerosol radiative forcing (ARF) calculated using SBDART shows much more surface (~-69 to -97 Wm-2) and Top of Atmosphere cooling (-20 to -30 Wm-2) as well as atmospheric heating (~43 to 71 Wm-2) during the AE days compared to seasonal means. These forcing values are mainly controlled by the higher AODs and the modified aerosol characteristics (Angstrom α, SSA) during the AE days in each season and may cause severe climate implications over Ganges Basin with further consequences on atmospheric heating, cloud microphysics, monsoon rainfall and melting of Himalayan glaciers.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Atmospheric Environment, 79:7-19
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
severe aerosol; optical properties; radiative forcing; Kanpur; India