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The great Indian haze revisited: aerosol distribution effects on microphysical and optical properties of warm clouds over peninsular India
Ghanti R,
Published in Copernicus GmbH
Volume: 25
Pages: 51 - 54
Abstract. The Indian subcontinent is undergoing a phase of rapid urbanisation. Inevitable fallout of this process is a concomitant increase in air pollution much of which can be attributed to the infamous great Indian haze phenomena. One observes that the aerosol size distributions vary considerably along the Bay of Bengal (BOB), Arabian Sea (AS) and the Indian Ocean (IO), although, the dynamical attributes are very similar, particularly over the BOB and the AS during this season. Unlike major European studies (e.g. Aerosol Characterization Experiment-2, Ghosh et al., 2005), there are no cloud microphysical modelling studies to complement these observational results for the Indian sub-continent. Ours is the first modelling study over this important region where a time-tested model (O'Dowd et al., 1999a; Ghosh et al., 2007; Rap et al., 2009) is used to obtain cloud microphysical and optical properties from observed aerosol size distributions. Un-activated aerosol particles and very small cloud droplets have to be treated specially to account for non-ideal effects-our model does this effectively yielding realistic estimate of cloud droplet number concentrations (Nc). Empirical relationships linking aerosol concentration to (Nc) yield a disproportionately higher Nc suggesting that such empirical formulations should be used with caution. Our modelling study reveals that the cloud's microphysical and optical properties are very similar along the AS and the BOB despite them having disparate dry aerosol spectral distributions. This is non-intuitive, as one would expect changes in microphysical development with widely different aerosol distributions. There is some increase in cloud droplet numbers with increased haze concentrations but much less than a simple proportion would indicate.
About the journal
JournalAdvances in Geosciences
PublisherCopernicus GmbH
Open Access0