Climate Dynamics

, Volume 41, Issue 3–4, pp 601–612 | Cite as

Influence of aerosol on clouds over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, India

  • D. M. Lal
  • S. D. Patil
  • H. N. Singh
  • Sachin D. Ghude
  • S. Tiwari
  • Manoj K. Srivastava


Using Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Aerosol Index (AI) and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis clouds data for the period 1979–1992, the influence of aerosol on the clouds (low and high cloud cover) over the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) in India has been brought out for the first time in the present study. AI shows increasing tendency over the IGP suggesting that aerosol loading over this region increased significantly during the study period. In our analysis, High Cloud Cover (HCC) shows increasing trend and Low Cloud Cover (LCC) shows decreasing trend over the IGP during the same period. During pre-monsoon season when aerosol loading is more, HCC increases in positive correlation with AI. On the other hand, LCC show decreasing trend and is anti-correlated with AI. During summer monsoon, aerosol shows increasing trend but their effect on HCC and LCC is not seen to be significant. Similarly, the role of humidity on aerosol induced changes in HCC and LCC over the IGP region was also analyzed. In the low to moderate humid areas of IGP region (western and middle IGP), increasing AI leads to increase in HCC and decrease in LCC. On the other hand, in high humid areas (eastern IGP), increase in AI does not show any significant effect on HCC, but LCC shows positive trend. Therefore, we strongly argue that increasing aerosol loading enhances Cloud Condensation Nuclei over the region which in turn, alters the microphysical properties of clouds by reducing the size of cloud droplets, and atmospheric humidity controls the aerosol effect on clouds. During the recent period (2005–2010), similar features have also been observed over the IGP region.


Low and high cloud cover Aerosol index Indo-Gangetic Plain Aerosol-cloud interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Lal
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. D. Patil
    • 1
  • H. N. Singh
    • 1
  • Sachin D. Ghude
    • 1
  • S. Tiwari
    • 1
  • Manoj K. Srivastava
    • 2
  1. 1. Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeophysicsBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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