ATRF-Aerosol-Cryosphere Interaction studies
1. The Himalayan Aerosol Observatory at Hanle
As a first step, aerosol observations started from Mt Saraswati (32.78° N, 78.95° E, 4520 m amsl), Hanle in the trans-Himalayas, after the successful installation and commissioning of aerosol instruments on 09 Aug 2009, in collaboration with the scientists/engineers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. This led the ARF team to attain another distinction of being the first and only atmospheric observatory in India, having regular aerosol measurements from the highest location.
2. The chain of ARFI observatories over the Himalayas
- Recent field campaigns to the glaciers and long-term measurements from high altitude stations are used to understand the BC induced snow albedo forcing over southern slopes of Himalayas. Following a synthesis of measurements from the Himalayan ARFINET stations with those during a scouting experiment to a glacier, and models of snow and ice, coupled with radiative transfer schemes, this study highlighted the overwhelming role of snow-albedo forcing over direct forcing; the effect being higher for aged snow than for fresh snow. This has revealed a complex dependence of absorbing aerosols in the snow, the snow microphysics and other processes in determining the impact - the first major step towards understanding the aerosol-cryosphere interactions.
- A chain of observatories has been identified over the Himalayas to make extensive investigations on aerosol-cryosphere interaction processes using in-situ data collected through field experiments.