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Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Factors affecting carbon dioxide uptake by the terrestrial ecosystem

The Earth’s climate history has been ever-changing. After the industrial revolution, however, climate change brought about by human activities is accelerating. . Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation has resulted in massive amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. It is now known that a fraction of this “anthropogenic” carbon dioxide is taken back by the land, making it act like a ‘Carbon sink’. A new study conducted by Prof. Govindasamy Bala and his team at the Indian Institute of Science, has quantified the main factors influencing this terrestrial carbon uptake.

A little moisture in atmosphere can change weather

Variations in the moisture content of the atmosphere can influence large-scale winds blowing in the higher reaches of the atmosphere, finds a study by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers. Called “Rossby waves”, such winds circulating in the upper echelons of the Earth's atmosphere play a major role in the development of weather.

Changes in Monsoon rhythms, extreme rainfall detected

As the farmers of India are acutely aware, the success of a growing season depends not only on how much rain is received during the monsoon, but also when it is received. The intensity of the slow rhythms of the monsoon has decreased over the past sixty years, according to a recent study by scientists at the Indian Institute of Science. A compensating increase in the number of extreme rainfall events in the monsoon months has also been detected.

New insights into effect of above-cloud aerosols on warming over Bay of Bengal

Aerosols such as smoke or dust suspended in the lower layers of the atmosphere can either heat up the planet by trapping solar radiation, or cool it by reflecting sunlight back into space. Previous research has shown, for example, that absorption of radiation by aerosols can significantly heat up the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal region. This region greatly influences the Indian summer monsoon; any change in the effect of aerosols can have a critical impact on local climate.

Monsoons increase growth of tiny plants in the Bay of Bengal

A current rising as a result of the Indian Summer Monsoon during June to September in the Bay of Bengal increases the growth of phytoplankton, minute plants that carry out photosynthesis in the sea. This results in the movement of organic carbon, or carbon flux, in the region. Researchers from CSIR – National Institute of Oceanography, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management, Chennai have quantified the extent to which the current associated with the Indian Summer Monsoon, the Summer Monsoon Current (SMC), increase the phytoplankton growth.

Atmospheric aerosols affect the Indian monsoon remotely

Aerosols are extremely small solid or liquid particles that remain suspended in air. Examples of such aerosols include dust, smoke and deodorant sprays. Apart from causing local air pollution, these particles reflect and absorb radiation from the sun and hence affect both local and global climate. A recent study published in the International Journal of Climatology has investigated how soot aerosols accumulating in other parts of Asia influence the Indian summer monsoon.

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