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Constrained simulation of aerosol species and sources during pre-monsoon season over the Indian subcontinent

Bharath Kumar, D., Verma, Shubha, Boucher, Olivier, Wang, Rong
Atmospheric research 2018 v.214 pp. 91-108
General Circulation Models, aerosols, coasts, dust, emissions, organic carbon, water solubility, Africa, Bay of Bengal, India, Indo-Gangetic Plain, West Asia
This study was designed to deliver a better concurrence between model estimates and observations, of atmospheric aerosol species, and predict their spatial distribution as consistently as possible. A free running aerosol simulation (freesimu) in a general circulation model (GCM) was performed, and further the simulated aerosol optical depth (AOD) was constrained with the observed AOD. The present study was carried out during the pre-monsoon season and for the Tigerz experiment which was conducted at stations over the Indo-Gangetic plain (IGP) and the Himalayan foot-hills in northern India. Our formulation of the constrained aerosol simulation (constrsimu) was based upon an identification of the freesimu with the most consistent estimates of aerosol characteristic among the three freesimu. The three freesimu (differing in source of emissions and model horizontal resolution) were carried out with the general circulation model (GCM) of Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-ZT GCM). Black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), and sulfate-other water soluble (Sul-ows) estimated from constrsimu amounted to 70%–100% compared to that from freesimu being 20%–50% of their measured counterparts. Among the aerosol species, the pre-monsoon mean concentration of dust was considerably high over most part of the Indian subcontinent; the anthropogenic aerosol species were, however, specifically predominant over the IGP (mostly 8–12 μg m−3 for Sul-ows, OC). The constrsimu estimated total submicron aerosol mass concentration revealed its alarmingly high value over the northern and north-western India (> 100 μg m−3 and as high as 300 μg m−3). While the high value of observed AOD was found being mainly due to dust (AOD due to dust greater than 0.3) over the northern–northwestern IGP, it was due to Sul-ows (AOD due to Sul-ows as high as 0.4) over the eastern IGP, eastern coastline, and the Bay of Bengal. Temporal trend of fine (FM) and coarse mode (CM) AOD from constrsimu estimates and that derived from Tigerz experiment were in phase with each other for most of the days and exhibited a strong positive correlation coefficient. Source of Tigerz aerosols was mainly due to a predominant influence of dust from Africa/west Asia followed by that from northwest India, and of anthropogenic emissions originating in the IGP. A 200% increase was inferred for potential black carbon emissions (using India emission inventory implemented in a GCM) to obtain a concurrence between observed and freesimu BC concentration.