Extreme smog challenge of India intensified by increasing lower tropospheric stability

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

Downloads

Download Preprint

Supplementary Files
Authors

Ritesh Gautam, Piyushkumar Patel, Manoj Singh, Tianjia Liu, Loretta Mickley, Hiren Jethva, Ruth DeFries

Abstract

Extreme smog in India widely impacts air quality in late autumn and winter months. While the links between emissions and air quality are well-recognized, the association of smog and its intensification with climatic trends in the lower troposphere, where aerosol pollution and its radiative effects manifest, are not understood well. Here we use long-term satellite data to show a significant increase in aerosol exceedances over northern India, resulting in sustained atmospheric warming and surface cooling over the last two decades. We find several lines of evidence suggesting these aerosol radiative effects have induced a multidecadal (1980-2019) strengthening of lower tropospheric stability and an increase in relative humidity, leading to over fivefold increase in poor visibility days. Given this crucial aerosol-radiation-meteorological feedback driving the smog intensification, we anticipate results from this study will help inform mitigation strategies supporting stronger region-wide measures, which are critical for solving the smog challenge in India.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5X049

Subjects

Atmospheric Sciences, Climate

Keywords

Aerosols, India, Smog

Dates

Published: 2021-08-30 06:09

Last Updated: 2021-08-30 13:09

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Data Availability (Reason not available):
All data underlying this study are available in the public domain. The MODIS data used in this study are available via http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MYD04_L2.006 and CERES data are available via https://doi.org/10.5067/Aqua/CERES/SSF-FM3_L2.004A.

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


Comments

There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.