This study reports comprehensive analysis of seasonal and inter-annual variations of aerosol properties (optical, physical and chemical) and radiative effects over Pokhara Valley in the foothills of central Himalayas in Nepal utilizing the high-quality multi-year columnar aerosol data observed recently from January 2010 to December 2017. This paper focusses on the seasonal and inter-annual variations of chemical (composition), and absorption properties of aerosols and their radiative effects. The single scattering albedo (SSA) either decreases as a function of wavelength or remains independent of wavelength. The seasonal mean aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD) exhibits a behavior opposite to that of SSA. Carbonaceous aerosols (CA) dominate (≥60%) aerosol absorption during the whole year. Black carbon (BC) alone contributes >60% to AAODCA while brown carbon (BrC) shares the rest. The absorbing aerosol types are determined to be BC, and mixed (BC and dust) only. Dust as absorbing aerosol type is absent over the Himalayan foothills. The ARFSFC is ≥ -50 Wm-2 except in monsoon almost every year. The ARFATM is ≥ 50 Wm-2 during winter and pre-monsoon in all the years. ARFESFC, ARFETOA and ARFEATM follow a similar pattern as that of ARF. High values of ARFE at SFC, TOA and ATM (except during monsoon when values are slightly lower) suggest that aerosols are efficient in significantly modulating the incoming solar flux throughout the year. The annual average aerosol-induced atmospheric heating rate (HR) over Pokhara is nearly 1 K day−1 every year during 8-year observation, and is highest in 2015 (∼2.5 K day−1). The HR is about 1 K day−1 or more over all the locations in IGP during the year. These quantitative results can be used as inputs in global/regional climate models to assess the climate impact of aerosols, including on regional temperature, hydrological cycle and melting of glaciers and snowfields in the region.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Academic Articles
Ramachandran, S., & Rupakheti, M. (2020). Inter-annual and seasonal variations in columnar aerosol characteristics and radiative effects over the Pokhara Valley in the Himalayan foothills. Composition, radiative forcing, and atmospheric heating. Environmental Pollution, 264: 114799. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114799.
- Staff involved
- Projects involved
- A Sustainable Atmosphere for the Kathmandu Valley (SusKat)