Unexpected increasing AOT trends over northwest Bay of Bengal in the early postmonsoon season

Pavel Kishcha, Boris Starobinets, Charles N. Long, Pinhas Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The main point of our study is that aerosol trends can be created by changes in meteorology without changes in aerosol source strength. Over the 10year period 2000-2009, in October, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) showed strong increasing aerosol optical thickness (AOT) trends of approximately 14% yr-1 over northwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) in the absence of AOT trends over the east of the Indian subcontinent. This was unexpected because sources of anthropogenic pollution were located over the Indian subcontinent and aerosol transport from the Indian subcontinent to northwest BoB was carried out by prevailing winds. In October, winds over the east of the Indian subcontinent were stronger than winds over northwest BoB, which resulted in wind convergence and accumulation of aerosol particles over northwest BoB. Moreover, there was an increasing trend in wind convergence over northwest BoB. This led to increasing trends in the accumulation of aerosol particles over northwest BoB and, consequently, to strong AOT trends over this area. In contrast to October, November showed no increasing AOT trends over northwest BoB or the nearby Indian subcontinent. The lack of AOT trends over northwest BoB corresponds to a lack of trends in wind convergence in that region. Finally, December domestic heating by the growing population resulted in positive AOT trends of similar magnitude over land and sea. Our findings illustrate that in order to explain and predict trends in regional aerosol loading, meteorological trends should be taken into consideration together with changes in aerosol source strength.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD23208
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Volume117
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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