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One-Day Workshop on “Role of Aerosols in Air-Quality, Monsoon and Climate”, held at Amity University Gurgaon


                                                                                            Recognizing the tremendous heterogeneity in spatiotemporal variation and impact of aerosols on various facets of atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere,lithosphere, health, energy and environment, the Amity Centre for Ocean-Atmospheric Science and Technology (ACOAST) organized a one-day Workshop on “Role of Aerosols In Air-Quality, Monsoon and Climate” on 08 January 2015 at Amity University Haryana (AUH), Gurgaon.  The Workshop was attended by internationally and nationally renowned scientists from different Research Organizations and Academic Institutions, and debated the recent advances in the field, and the research gaps and innovative areas where the ACOAST can focus in its future research and academic activities. The spectrum of eminent scientists participated and delivered lectures at the Workshop includes:

1.      Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Dube, Vice Chancellor,Amity University Rajasthan (AUR), Jaipur; Former Director, IIT Kharagpur.

2.      Prof. D. R. Sikka, Former Director,Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

3.      VSM Dr. Ajit Tyagi, Koteswaram Professor, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES); Former Director General of Meteorology,India Meteorological Department (IMD).

4.      Dr. P. S. Rao, Scientific Adviser, Department of Science and Technology (DST).

5.      Prof. S.K. Dash, Former Head, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS), IIT-D.

6.      Dr. S. Tiwari, Head, IITM-Delhi Branch.

7.      Dr. Sagnik Dey, Assistant Professor,CAS, IIT-D.

8.      Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Senior Scientist,IITM-Delhi Branch.

9.      Dr. Mohapatra, Senior Scientist, IMD.

10.     Prof. (Dr.) P.C.S. Devara, Head, ACOAST,AUH, Gurgaon; Former Adviser, IITM Pune.

 

In the Welcome Address by Prof. (Dr.) P. B. Sharma, Honorable Vice Chancellor,AUH expressed that this is the right time to have a Workshop of this kind with expert scientists working in the field, at Amity University Haryana, Gurgaon.  He emphasized on the impact of aerosol and pre-cursor gas loading and their space-time distributions at regional and global scale on human health (respiration, lung cancer etc.) and eco systems. He also pointed out the importance of the study of aerosols in understanding of their role in seamless prediction of weather and climate vis-à-vis agricultural activities.

 

In the Opening Remarks, Prof. Padmakali Banerjee,Honorable Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dean Academics and Director, Amity Business School, Amity University Haryana, Gurgaon highlighted the studies on the influence of anthropogenic (human-induced) aerosols of micron-size on water cycle, health,weather and climate.  Besides pursuing these studies in the research mode, she stressed the need for introducing such disciplines at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels to broaden the outlook of students on societal impacts of aerosol particulate emissions of both natural and anthropogenic sources. She also touched upon the origin of the implementation of the ACOAST at AUH, its present composition and specific objectives leading to a Centre of Excellence.

 

The Guest of Honor, Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Dube, Vice Chancellor, AUR, spoke about the scientific background, need and creation of the Amity Centre for Ocean-Atmospheric Science and Technology (ACOAST) at AUH. He also briefed on the research activities such as display of daily weather parameters for public awareness, analysis of climate model-simulated outputs to understand the role of atmosphere-ocean coupled processes in weather and climate change etc. at AUR.  He suggested that such activities, among others, may also be taken up by AUH as part of the activities of this new Centre.

 

The Key Note Address of the Workshop was given by Prof. D.R. Sikka, Former Director, IITM.  He lectured on “A March from Climatology to Climate Science and Climate Change Studies in India and Challenges in Climate Science and Role of Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean-Land and Cryosphere Processes”.  He explained the history and progress of climatological studies in India, particularly the genesis and vagaries of monsoons.  He also outlined the progress in the development and networking of observational systems for monitoring the atmospheric and ocean states, and the aerosol-monsoon-climate connections. He emphasized the climate change of different scales marching from season through century.  He strongly suggested that “Climate Science” is the hot topic of recent century and it should be introduced at the basic level of under-graduation in the educational institutions.As the location of AUH passes from moist (wet)through dry environment, aerosol studies in this region will yield interesting results and such data sets would serve an important input to the models aiming at the study of the impact of aerosols on environmental pollution, water and regional monsoon activity. He also gave a specific suggestion to study the bio-aerosols and in-door pollutants in the region. Initially samples can be collected using special samplers which can be analyzed in the laboratories outside the country due to non-availability of suitable analyzers available in India. Further, he suggested that collaborative programs in research on Climate Science need to be developed for sustained progress in the new discipline of climate science. He concluded his speech by remarking that University sectors can contribute a lot to this branch of increasing societal importance by training human resources and conducting special research within the scope of their resources.

 

An Overview of the Workshop was presented by Prof. (Dr.) P.C.S.Devara, Head,Amity Centre for Ocean-Atmospheric Science and Technology(ACOAST). He informed the participants that this new initiative was envisioned by Honorable Chancellor, Mr. Aseem Chauhan  together with Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Dube, Honorable VC of AURProf. Devara also said that Prof. (Dr.) Padmakali Banerjee, Honorable Pro-VC, Dean, Academics and Director,Business School, AUH is the instrumental, spirit behind and responsible for launching and sphere-heading this Innovative Centre at AUH, Panchgaon-Manesar-Gurgaon.  Prof. Devara explained the structure, aims and progress made, so far, by the Centre since its inception in June 2014.  He also narrated the on-going academic and research activities, guidance to students in their summer and winter project works,research publications in International and National peer-reviewed Journals, and collaborations between AUH and other research and educational institutions in the country.  Prof. Devara said that the valuable deliberations at the Workshop would provide the Centre with a road-map and directions for future work to enlarge its scope of work elements,visibility and the way forward.

 

The Inaugural Function was followed by two Scientific Sessions.  The first Scientific Session was chaired by Prof. S.K. Dube. Dr. Ajit Tyagi made the first presentation titled “Role of aerosols: Operational perspective”. In this presentation, he described the operational scientific aspects of weather forecast.  He explained about the transport emissions of fog aerosols and photochemical smog, which is found primarily due to modern industrialization. Further, he explained the fog/dust observations (dispersal techniques),prediction and mitigation of fog/dust episodes. He remarked that the impact of aerosols on precipitation is not yet fully understood and needs further study. Subsequently, he explained the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Indian aerosol and other themes established under the GAW program.  He put forward his opinion that albeit assimilation of aerosols in general circulation models shows significant impact on monsoon,the sign of the influence of aerosols on monsoon activity, through the irradiative forcing, is not clearly known. 

 

A presentation on “Changes in Indian summer monsoon and issues related to aerosols” has been made by Prof. S.K. Dash.He highlighted the influence of anthropogenic aerosols on Somali Jet which, in turn,increases surface pressure and arrests the moisture transport from Bay of Bengal to Himalayas, hence weakening of monsoon dynamics and less precipitation over the foot-hills of Himalayas. He also emphasized the observation of short-term rainspells and decrease of long-term spells in the long-term trends in the precipitation series, revealing weakening of south-west monsoon over the country.

 

Dr. P. S. Rao from DST made a presentation on “Issues and opportunities for R&D in aerosols, monsoon and climate”.  After a brief introduction to the role of aerosols in various facets of ocean, atmosphere and environmental sciences,with a particular emphasis on bio-aerosols and health aspects, he explained a series of thrust areas in atmospheric sciences   [(i)Weather and Climate Processes,(ii) Land-Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions, (iii) Agrometeorology, (iv) Science of Climate Change, (v) Air Quality and its Impact on Society, (vi) Middle Atmosphere:Observations & Modeling, (vii) Ionosphere and Space-Weather Research,(viii) Navigation and Telecommunication, (ix) Planetary Atmosphere and (x) Human Resources and Infrastructure Development] that can be funded under the extramural support by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of Department of Science and Technology (DST). He stressed upon the category of Centric and Thematic Projects i.e. competitive,collaboration and multi-disciplinary are more suitable for Educational Institutions for funding.   He suggested that all Educational and Research Institutions should avail this funding facility.He concluded his presentation with a suggestion that there are many funding opportunities to explore multi-disciplinary collaboration in aerosol research towards addressing local to regional to global issues of societal importance.

 

The next presentation on “Extreme weather forecasting and challenges over Indian region” was made by Dr. M. Mohapatra of IMD.  He talked about the natural hazards and extreme weather conditions, namely, floods, cyclones, droughts, Tsunami etc.The role of aerosols through their influence on convective activity, either directly or indirectly, in the processes involved in these hazards cannot be ruled out.He discussed about different observational systems and models being used by IMD/MoES for the seamless prediction of weather and climate.He also pointed out the role played by aerosols through modulation of radiation, in the prediction of onset and strengthening/weakening of monsoon.

 

The second Scientific Session was chaired jointly by Prof. D.R. Sikkaand Dr. P.S. Rao. The first presentation under this session was made by Dr. S. Tiwari on Chemistry of rainwater in Northern part of India.  In this talk, Dr. Tiwari presented initially the different instruments available at his Centre for the measurements of aerosols including black carbon and gaseous pollutants.  Subsequently, he presented the sampling strategies and some salient results of the studies on chemistry of wet (rain,fog, snow and dew) and dry depositions and gaseous pollutants, carried out by his Institute at Delhi Branch and also at different locations in the Indo-Gangetic Basin region.The results show that the rain water in the region,on an average, is alkaline by 86% and acidic by 14%.  The dominant ions acting as sources, found in the samples were sulphates (due to burning of fossil and biofuel) and nitrates(due to automobiles and biomass burning) with calcium acting as neutralizing agent.  Since the chemistry of precipitation (scavenging of pollutants) varies from site to site due to influence of varying sources, the Panchagaon site which is sparsely populated with anthropogenic activities such as domestic cooking, biomass burning practices, aerosol and precipitation chemistry would be interesting topic and worth pursuing.

 

Dr. Sagnik Dey presented his contribution titled “Aerosol research in India: Present status and future directions. He discussed the mapping of carbonaceous aerosols (black/elemental and organic fractions) and the associated direct radiative forcing over India and suggested that high-resolution observations are needed to reduce the uncertainty involved in the carbonaceous aerosol forcing on climate. As both elemental and organic carbons have small fractions of scattering and absorption components, respectively, their ultimate impact of warming and cooling to the atmosphere is not clear. He suggests that these fractions need to be quantified and incorporated in the models for realistic estimation of the influence of carbon aerosols on the earth-atmosphere radiation balance.  He also discussed about the health aspects of cpoarse-mode aerosols (PM2.5 and PM10).

 

A presentation on Aerosol characterization over Indo-Gangetic basin – its heterogeneity and implications to radiative forcingwas made by Dr. A.K. Srivastava.  While discussing about air quality in a broader perspective over the Indo-Gangetic Basin, he discussed about the levels of PM2.5 (dominant due to industries) and PM10 (dominant due to residential activities) in different sectors in the Delhi NCR.  He also discussed about the aerosol type and radiative forcing due to anthropogenic and composite aerosols.

 

Prof. (Dr.) P.C.S. Devara made a presentation titled “Aerosol-cloud-precipitation-climate feedbacks and pathways: Present and planned studies”. He explained the indirect effect of aerosols where aerosols act as cloud condensation nuclei / ice nuclei and contribute to the cloud formation and development.  He discussed about different pathways and feedback mechanisms between aerosols, clouds, precipitation and climate.  A suit of ground-based remote sensing facilities (LIDARs and Solar Radiometers)and model data used for studying the aerosol indict effect have been briefed.  One of the advanced remote sensing techniques,namely, dual polarization micro pulse lidar (DPMPL) used to demonstrate the association between the aerosols in the sub-cloud layer and the macro-physical properties of clouds aloft. He demonstrated the impact of aerosols on monsoon precipitation using the lidar/radiometric and satellite data sets.  He pointed out the need for portable instruments for multi-environmental measurements, and incorporation of forcing due to thermodynamic effect of clouds, and nitrogen chemistry in models will improve our understanding of aerosol-climate relationships. At the end of his talk, he narrated some of the gap areas such as aerosol (primary)-aerosol (secondary)    vis-à-vis aerosol-background interactions,and coupled models with super parameterization schemes and data assimilation techniques need to be pursued in future research.

 

The workshop concluded with Vote of Thanks.

 

Specific Recommendations

 

·                    On-going research and academic activities are in right direction and they need to be expanded to make the ACOAST a Centre of Excellence.

 

·                    Real-time display of meteorological and air-quality parameters in the campus for public awareness.

 

·                    More focus on “Science of Climate” at Under-Graduate level onwards besides “Atmospheric Physics” at Post-Graduate level.

 

·                    Enlarge the aerosol optical, chemical, microphysical and radiative characteristics of both composite and type-segregated.

 

·                    Dust, Fog, Carbonaceous (elemental,organic, brown and yellow) aerosols and their transport and internal/external mixing processes.

 

·                    Sampling and analysis of Bio-aerosols for studying health hazards ((morbidity and mortality).

 

·                    Collection and analysis of wet- and dry-deposition samples for understanding the chemistry of aerosols in moist/dry environments and acid rain phenomenon.

 

·                    Interface between aerosol, cloud,precipitation, chemistry and climate using multi-disciplinary experimental approaches.

 

·                    Modeling of aerosol impacts on regional monsoon, analysis of model outputs and verification with real-time observations.

 

·                    More focus on interdisciplinary collaboration within the University.

 

·                    Train human resources and conduct special research within the scope of resources.

 

·                     On-going Inter-institutional and bi-lateral collaborative programs need to be strengthened to enlarge the scope of R&D activities of ACOAST.

 

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