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Natural and anthropogenic aerosols over northern India play an important role in influencing the regional radiation budget, causing climate implications to the overall hydrological cycle of South Asia. In the context of regional climate change and air quality, we discuss aerosol loading variability and trends at Kanpur AERONET station located in the central part of the Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP), during the last decade (2001-10). Ground-based radiometric measurements show an overall increase in column-integrated aerosol optical depth (AOD) on a yearly basis. This upward trend is mainly due to a sustained increase in the seasonal/monthly averaged AOD during the winter (Dec-Feb) and post-monsoon (Oct-Nov) seasons (dominated by anthropogenic emissions). In contrast, a neutral to weak declining trend is observed during late pre-monsoon (Mar-May) and monsoon (Jun-Sep) months, mainly influenced by inter-annual variations of dust outbreaks. A general decrease in coarse-mode aerosols associated with variable dust activity is observed, whereas the statistically significant increasing post-monsoon/winter AOD is reflected in a shift of the columnar size distribution towards relatively larger particles in the accumulation mode. Overall, the present study provides an insight into the pronounced seasonal behavior in aerosol loading trends and, in general, is in agreement with that associating the findings with those recently reported by satellite observations (MODIS and MISR) over northern India. Our results further suggest that anthropogenic emissions (due mainly to fossil-fuel and biomass combustion) over the IGP have continued to increase in the last decade.


This article was originally published in Environmental Research Letters, volume 7, issue 2, in 2012. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/2/024003

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IOP Publishing

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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