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Black carbon aerosols over Manora Peak in the Indian Himalayan foothills: Implications for climate forcing

Srivastava, AK and Ram, K and Pant, P and Hegde, P and Joshi, H (2012) Black carbon aerosols over Manora Peak in the Indian Himalayan foothills: Implications for climate forcing. Environmental Research Letters, 7 (1).

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This letter presents the contribution of black carbon (BC) to the total aerosol optical depth (AOD) and subsequently to the direct radiative forcing (DRF) at Manora Peak in the Indian Himalayan foothills. Measurements of the chemical composition of aerosols, carried out from July 2006 to May 2007, together with concurrently measured BC mass concentrations were used in an aerosol optical model to deduce the radiatively important aerosol optical parameters for composite aerosols. On the other hand, BC mass concentrations alone were used in the optical model to deduce the optical parameters solely for BC aerosols. The derived aerosol optical parameters were used independently in a radiative transfer model to estimate the DRF separately for composite and BC aerosols. The average BC mass concentration was found to be 0.98 (±0.68) μg m−3 during the entire observation period, which contributes <3% to the total aerosol mass and ~17% to the total AOD at Manora Peak. The mean surface forcing was found to be − 14.0 (±9.7) and − 7.4 (±2.1) W m−2, respectively for composite and BC aerosols whereas mean atmospheric forcing was about +14 (±10) and +10 (±3) W m−2 for these aerosols. These results suggest that BC aerosols exert relatively large surface heating (~45% higher) as compared to composite aerosols and contribute ~70% to the total atmospheric forcing at Manora Peak. Such a large warming effect of BC may affect the strength of Himalayan glaciers, monsoon circulation and precipitation over the Indian region.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to IOP Publishing.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Himalayas, black carbon, aerosol optical depth, radiative forcing
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2013 06:29
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2013 06:29

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