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Divecha Centre for Climate Change

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.

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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