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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-446
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
12 Jun 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Aerosol chemistry, transport and climatic implications during extreme biomass burning emissions over Indo-Gangetic Plain
Nandita Singh1, Tirthankar Banerjee1,2, Made P. Raju3, Karine Deboudt4, Meytar Sorek-Hamer5, Ram S. Singh2,6, and Rajesh K. Mall1,2 1Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2DST-Mahamana Centre of Excellence in Climate Change Research, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
3High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India
4Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie de l'Atmosphère, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Dunkerque, France
5NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA
6Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, India
Abstract. The large-scale emissions of airborne particulates from burning of agricultural residues particularly over the upper Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) have often been associated with frequent formation of haze, adverse health impacts, modification in aerosol climatology and thereby aerosols impact on regional climate. In this study, short-term variations in aerosol climatology during extreme biomass burning emissions over IGP, and thereby to regional climate were investigated. Size-segregated particulate concentration was initially measured and submicron particles (PM1.1) were found to dominate particulate mass within the fine mode (PM2.1). Particulate bound water-soluble ions were mainly secondary in nature, primarily composed of sulfate and nitrate. There was evidence of gaseous NH3 dominating neutralization of acidic aerosol species (SO42−) in submicron particles, in contrast to crustal dominating neutralization in coarser particulates. Variation in black carbon mass ratio was found to be influenced by local sources, while sudden increase in concentration was consistent with high Delta-C, referring to biogenic emissions. Influence of biomass burning emissions were established using specific organic (levoglucosan), inorganic (K+ and NH4+) and satellite (UV Aerosol Index, UVAI) tracers. Levoglucosan was the most abundant within submicron particles (649±177 ng m−3), with a very high ratio (>50) against other anhydrosugars, indicating exclusive emissions from burning of agriculture residues. Temporal variations of all the tracers were consistent, while NH4+ was more closely associated to levoglucosan. Spatio-temporal distribution of aerosol and few trace gases (CO and NO2) were evaluated using both space-borne active and passive sensors, and a significant increase in columnar aerosol loading (AOD: 0.98) was evident during extreme biomass burning emissions, with presence of absorbing aerosols (UVAI > 1.5) having low aerosol layer height (~1.5 km). A strong intraseasonality in aerosol cross-sectional altitudinal profile was even noted from CALIPSO, referring dominance of smoke and polluted continental aerosols across IGP. Possible transport mechanism of biomass smoke was established using cluster analysis and concentration weighted of air mass back-trajectories. Short-wave aerosol radiative forcing (ARF) was further simulated considering intraseasonality in aerosol properties, which resulted in considerable increase of atmospheric ARF (135 Wm−2) and heating rate (4.3 K day−1) during extreme biomass burning emissions compared to non-dominating one (56 Wm−2, 1.8 K day−1). We therefore conclude that influence of biomass burning emissions on regional aerosol climatology must need to be studied in much finer scale to improve parameterization of aerosol/-climate model across the region.
Citation: Singh, N., Banerjee, T., Raju, M. P., Deboudt, K., Sorek-Hamer, M., Singh, R. S., and Mall, R. K.: Aerosol chemistry, transport and climatic implications during extreme biomass burning emissions over Indo-Gangetic Plain, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-446, in review, 2018.
Nandita Singh et al.
Nandita Singh et al.
Nandita Singh et al.

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Short summary
Emissions of airborne particulates from burning of agricultural residues over Indo-Gangetic Plain have often been associated with formation of haze and adverse health impacts. Short-term variations in aerosol climatology during extreme biomass burning emissions were investigated using both ground and space-borne sensors. Results highlight three exclusive but inter-related mechanisms, i.e. aerosol chemistry, regional transport and radiative forcing, which may be useful in regional climate model.
Emissions of airborne particulates from burning of agricultural residues over Indo-Gangetic...
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