Contribution of anthropogenic aerosols in direct radiative forcing and atmospheric heating rate over Delhi in the Indo-Gangetic Basin.

Research paper by Atul K AK Srivastava, Sachchidanand S Singh, S S Tiwari, D S DS Bisht

Indexed on: 19 Oct '11Published on: 19 Oct '11Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research


The present work is aimed to understand direct radiation effects due to aerosols over Delhi in the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) region, using detailed chemical analysis of surface measured aerosols during the year 2007.An optically equivalent aerosol model was formulated on the basis of measured aerosol chemical compositions along with the ambient meteorological parameters to derive radiatively important aerosol optical parameters. The derived aerosol parameters were then used to estimate the aerosol direct radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere, surface, and in the atmosphere.The anthropogenic components measured at Delhi were found to be contributing ∼ 72% to the composite aerosol optical depth (AOD(0.5) ∼ 0.84). The estimated mean surface and atmospheric forcing for composite aerosols over Delhi were found to be about -69, -85, and -78 W m(-2) and about +78, +98, and +79 W m(-2) during the winter, summer, and post-monsoon periods, respectively. The anthropogenic aerosols contribute ∼ 90%, 53%, and 84% to the total aerosol surface forcing and ∼ 93%, 54%, and 88% to the total aerosol atmospheric forcing during the above respective periods. The mean (± SD) surface and atmospheric forcing for composite aerosols was about -79 (± 15) and +87 (± 26) W m(-2) over Delhi with respective anthropogenic contributions of ∼ 71% and 75% during the overall period of observation.Aerosol induced large surface cooling, which was relatively higher during summer as compared to the winter suggesting an increase in dust loading over the station. The total atmospheric heating rate at Delhi averaged during the observation was found to be 2.42  ±  0.72 K day(-1), of which the anthropogenic fraction contributed as much as ∼ 73%.