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Trends in aerosol optical depth for cities in India

Porch, W., P. Chylek, M. Dubey, and S. Massie (2007), Trends in aerosol optical depth for cities in India, Atmos. Environ., 41, 7524-7532, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.05.055.

Recent analysis of trends in global short-wave radiation measured with pyranometers in major cities in India support a decrease in solar radiation in many of those cities since 1990. Since direct and diffuse radiation measurements include cloud effects, spring and summer dust and the variable summer monsoon rains, we concentrate in this paper on wintertime (November–February) aerosol optical depth measurements. The aerosol optical depth is derived from cloud-free turbidity measurements beginning in the 1960s and more recent sun photometer direct aerosol optical depth measurements. We compare the sun photometer derived trends with the pyranometer-derived trends using a radiative transfer model. These results are then compared to total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) satellite-derived regional aerosol optical depths from 1980 to 2000. The results show that inclusion of the earlier turbidity measurements helps to establish an increasing regional turbidity trend. However, most of the increasing trend is confined to the larger cities in the Ganges River Basin of India (mainly Calcutta and New Delhi) with other cities showing a much less increase. Regional satellite data show that there is an increasing trend in aerosol off the coast of India and over the Ganges River Basin. The increase over the Ganges River Basin is consistent with population trends over the region during 1980–2000.

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Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)