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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-503
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-503
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Jul 2020

06 Jul 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Amplification of South Asian haze by water vapour-aerosol interactions

Vijayakumar Sivadasan Nair1, Filippo Giorgi2, and Usha Keshav Hasyagar1 Vijayakumar Sivadasan Nair et al.
  • 1Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
  • 2Earth System Physics, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy

Abstract. Air pollution and wintertime fog over South Asia is a major concern due to its significant implications on air quality, visibility and health. Using a coupled regional climate model with on-line chemistry, we assess the contribution of the hygroscopic growth of aerosols (wet-dry) to the total aerosol optical depth and demonstrate that the increased surface cooling due to the hygroscopic effects of aerosols further increases the humidity in the boundary layer and thus enhances the confinement of pollutants through aerosol-boundary layer interactions. This positive feedback mechanism plays an important role in the prevalence of wintertime fog and low air quality conditions over South Asia, where water vapor contributes more than half of the aerosol optical depth. The aerosol-boundary layer interactions lead to the moistening of the boundary layer and drying of the free-troposphere, which amplifies the long-term trend in relative humidity over the Indo-Gangetic Plain during winter. Hence, the aerosol-water vapor interaction plays a decisive role in the formation and maintenance of the wintertime thick fog conditions over South Asia, which needs to be considered for planning mitigation strategies.

Vijayakumar Sivadasan Nair et al.

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Vijayakumar Sivadasan Nair et al.

Vijayakumar Sivadasan Nair et al.

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Latest update: 21 Oct 2020
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Short summary
Air pollution and wintertime fog over South Asia is a major concern due to its significant implications on air quality, visibility and health. Coupled model simulations show that hygroscopic growth of aerosol contributes significantly to the aerosol induced cooling at the surface. Our analysis demonstrates that the aerosol-moisture interaction is the most significant contributor favoring and strengthening the high aerosol conditions (poor air quality) prevailing over South Asia during winter.
Air pollution and wintertime fog over South Asia is a major concern due to its significant...
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