Prof. Prosenjit Ghosh at the Centre for Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Science finds answers to such and many other questions through his work in the OASIS laboratory (Operation and Application of Stable Isotope Systems).
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Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every evening, a blanket of pollution binds car
Turning to geologic records to understand the hazards of tsunamis, the researchers from Centre for Earth Sciences observe that the last major tsunami to have visited the Indian shores is about 1000 years old.
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.