A new comprehensive surface temperature data set for India is used to document changes in Indian temperature over seven decades, in order to examine the patterns and possible effects of global warming. The data set is subdivided into pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon categories in order to study the temperature patterns in each of these periods.

Deposition and accumulation of light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosol on glacier surfaces can alter the energy balance of glaciers. In this study, 2 years (December 2014 to December 2016) of continuous observations of carbonaceous aerosols in the glacierized region of the Mt. Yulong and Ganhaizi (GHZ) basin are analyzed. The average elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC) concentrations were 1.51±0.93 and 2.57±1.32 µg m−3, respectively.

Since at least the 1980s, many farmers in northwest India have switched to mechanized combine harvesting to boost efficiency. This harvesting technique leaves abundant crop residue on the fields, which farmers typically burn to prepare their fields for subsequent planting. A key question is to what extent the large quantity of smoke emitted by these fires contributes to the already severe pollution in Delhi and across other parts of the heavily populated Indo-Gangetic Plain located downwind of the fires.

Aerosols play an important role in climate change processes. Among the various aerosols, black carbon (BC) has been recognized as the second most important anthropogenic agent for climate change and the primary tracer for adverse health effects caused by air pollution. The increasing concentration of BC in the atmosphere has now become a matter of serious concern, especially in the high Himalayan glaciated region that has the most vulnerable ecosystem with pristine environment, rich biodiversity and pollution-free ambient air quality.

Albedo—a primary control on surface melt—varies considerably across the Greenland Ice Sheet yet the specific surface types that comprise its dark zone remain unquantified. Here we use UAV imagery to attribute seven distinct surface types to observed albedo along a 25 km transect dissecting the western, ablating sector of the ice sheet. Our results demonstrate that distributed surface impurities—an admixture of dust, black carbon and pigmented algae—explain 73% of the observed spatial variability in albedo and are responsible for the dark zone itself.

A gap in emission inventories of urban volatile organic compound (VOC) sources, which contribute to regional ozone and aerosol burdens, has increased as transportation emissions in the United States and Europe have declined rapidly. A detailed mass balance demonstrates that the use of volatile chemical products (VCPs)—including pesticides, coatings, printing inks, adhesives, cleaning agents, and personal care products—now constitutes half of fossil fuel VOC emissions in industrialized cities.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has a pronounced influence on year-to-year variations in climate1. The response of fires to this forcing2 is complex and has not been evaluated systematically across different continents. Here we use satellite data to create a climatology of burned-area and fire-emissions responses, drawing on six El Niño and six La Niña events during 1997–2016.

 

Aerosols are significant to the Earth’s climate, with nearly all atmospheric aerosols containing organic compounds that often contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts. However, the nature of how these compounds are arranged within an aerosol droplet remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that fatty acids in proxies for atmospheric aerosols self-assemble into highly ordered three-dimensional nanostructures that may have implications for environmentally important processes.

Residential solid biomass cookstoves are important sources of aerosol emissions in India. Cookstove emissions rates are largely based on laboratory experiments conducted using the standard water-boiling test, but real-world emissions are often higher owing to different stove designs, fuels, and cooking methods. Constraining mass emissions factors (EFs) for prevalent cookstoves is important because they serve as inputs to bottom-up emissions inventories used to evaluate health and climate impacts.

The 2015 smoke haze episode was one of the most severe and prolonged transboundary air pollution events ever seen in Southeast Asia (SEA), affecting the air quality of several countries within the region including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The 24 h mean outdoor PM2.5 (particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm) concentrations ranged from 72–157 μg m−3 in Singapore during this episode, exceeding the WHO 24 h mean PM2.5 guidelines (25 μg m−3) several times over.

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