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Significant cooling effect on the surface due to soot particles over Brahmaputra River Valley region, India: An impact on regional climate

Tiwari, S and Kumar, R and Tunved, P and Singh, S and Panicker, AS (2016) Significant cooling effect on the surface due to soot particles over Brahmaputra River Valley region, India: An impact on regional climate. Science of the Total Environment, 562. pp. 504-516.

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Black carbon (BC) is an important atmospheric aerosol constituent that affects the climate by absorbing (directly) the sunlight and modifying cloud characteristics (indirectly). Here, we present first time yearlong measurements of BC and carbon monoxide (CO) from an urban location of Guwahati located in the Brahmaputra River valley (BRV) in the northeast region of India from 1st July 2013 to 30th June 2014. Daily BC concentrations varied within the range of 2.86 to 11.56μgm(-3) with an annual average of 7.17±1.89μgm(-3), while, CO varied from 0.19 to 1.20ppm with a mean value of 0.51±0.19ppm during the study period. The concentrations of BC (8.37μgm(-3)) and CO (0.67ppm) were ~39% and ~55% higher during the dry months (October to March) than the wet months (April to September) suggesting that seasonal changes in meteorology and emission sources play an important role in controlling these species. The seasonal ΔBC/ΔCO ratios were highest (lowest) in the pre-monsoon (winter) 18.1±1.4μgm(-3)ppmv(-1) (12.6±2.2μgm(-3)ppmv(-1)) which indicate the combustion of biofuel/biomass as well as direct emissions from fossil fuel during the pre-monsoon season. The annual BC emission was estimated to be 2.72Gg in and around Guwahati which is about 44% lower than the mega city 'Delhi' (4.86Gg). During the study period, the annual mean radiative forcing (RF) at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) for clear skies of BC was +9.5Wm(-2), however, the RF value at the surface (SFC) was -21.1Wm(-2) which indicates the net warming and cooling effects, respectively. The highest RF at SFC was in the month of April (-30Wm(-2)) which is coincident with the highest BC mass level. The BC atmospheric radiative forcing (ARF) was +30.16 (annual mean) Wm(-2) varying from +23.1 to +43.8Wm(-2). The annual mean atmospheric heating rate (AHR) due to the BC aerosols was 0.86Kday(-1) indicates the enhancement in radiation effect over the study region. The Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) captured the seasonal cycle of observed BC fairly well but underestimated the observed BC during the month of May-August. Model results show that BC at Guwahati is controlled mainly by anthropogenic emissions except during the pre-monsoon season when open biomass burning also makes a similar contribution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2017 07:03
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2017 07:03

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