Minor species in the Earth's atmosphere - trace gases and aerosols - play major roles in our environment


Research on atmospheric aerosols has been a well-focused theme prior to the formation of SPL from the former SPD, as early as 1982. Since then several indigenous experiments were conceived and conducted with the thrust area being in-house development of experimental tools, like atmospheric lidars and multi-wavelength radiometer (MWR) which is the major instrument of the ARFI network at present. All these experiments focused on the physical and radiative properties of aerosols. The knowledge on the chemical composition of aerosols which is crucial in deciding the radiative and environmental impacts remained an unexplored area. These minor components play significant roles in air pollution, climate change and several other environmental issues. The high spatial and temporal heterogeneities of these components, added with tropospheric chemistry complicates the quantitative assessment of the impacts of these species. In view of the key roles played by the atmospheric trace gases, in our Geosphere-Biosphere system, the research activity was broadened by adding the trace gas component along with aerosol chemistry and the Aerosol Chemistry and Trace Gases (ACTG) branch was formed in 2014.