Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Multi-year CALIPSO observations of ubiquitous elevated aerosol layer in the...

Kumar, G., B. L. Madhavan, L. Sahu, Y. B. Kumar, J. Jean-Paul, H. Liu, B. Zhang, A. Pandit, R. K. Manchanda, V. K. Dadhwal, and P. R. Sinha (2023), Multi-year CALIPSO observations of ubiquitous elevated aerosol layer in the free troposphere over South Asia: Sources and formation mechanism, J. Geophys. Res., 128, e2021JD036277, doi:10.1029/2021JD036277.

The vertical distribution of aerosols in the lower troposphere is critically important for assessing their impact on Earth's radiation budget and modulation of cloud microphysics. This study analyzed cloud-free aerosol extinction coefficient (βext), aerosol subtypes, and particulate depolarization ratios obtained from CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) over the six regions of India during 2008–2018. We investigated unprecedented climatology of the physical and optical characteristics of elevated aerosol layers (EALs) along with their source and formation mechanism. The key findings include: (a) EALs over the Indian region were persistent between 4 and 6 km during all seasons, (b) geometrical layer thickness of EALs increased up to 36.7% and 25% from the annual mean during summer and fall seasons, respectively, compared to that of spring and winter, (c) dust and polluted dust accounted for up to 50%–80% from near-surface to 6 km and up to 80%–90% of the EALs between 4 and 6 km, respectively for all the seasons and regions, (d) we anticipated that locally confined recirculation coupled with stratified stable layer capped within turbulent layers could be a possible mechanism of formation of stratified EALs between 4 and 6 km during winter-spring-fall, while in summer, vertical transport of pollutants from the PBL to mid-troposphere due to enhanced deep convection served as a key formation mechanism of the EALs, (e) the second Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications Global Modeling Initiative model reasonably simulated the shape and vertical gradient of βext with significant differences in magnitude below 4 km; however, it fails to reproduce EALs for all seasons and regions during the study period.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)