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Enhanced aerosol loading over Arabian Sea during the pre-monsoon season: Natural or anthropogenic?

American Geophysical Union
Publication Date
  • Centre For Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences


[1] Recent experiments conducted over the oceanic regions adjacent to the Indian sub continent have revealed the presence of anthropogenic aerosol haze during January to March. It has been suggested that the major source of this aerosol is South and Southeast Asia. Here we show from long term, multi-station and ship borne observations that aerosols transported from regions northwest of Indian subcontinent especially Arabian and Saharan regions (mostly natural dust) along with the locally produced sea-salt aerosols by sea-surface winds constitute a more significant source of aerosols during April-May period. The radiative forcing due to Arabian/Saharan aerosols (mostly natural) during April May period is comparable and often exceed (as much as 1.5 times) the forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols during January to March period. The presence of dust load over the Arabian Sea can influence the temperature profile and radiative balance in this region.

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