Our climate is strongly influenced by the manner in which solar radiation is absorbed and scattered in the Earth?s atmosphere.
Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in modifying the radiation budget of the earth-atmosphere system. These
aerosols have a direct impact on the atmosphere as they scatter and absorb solar and infrared radiations and indirectly affect the
size distribution of cloud droplets. Hence, the knowledge of aerosols? characteristics is the basic requirement for understanding
their impact on the Earth?s climate. In this context the Asian region assumes great importance because of its high population
density and diverse human activities. Hence aerosol characterization studies have variously been reported from this region. Most
of these studies focused to either urban/semi-urban landmass or oceans adjacent to densely populated coastal belt. However, such
investigations from a remote high altitude and sparsely inhabited location have the importance of providing a sort of background
level, against which the urban impacts can be compared. In this perspective aerosol characterization program was initiated in
the year 2002 at Manora Peak (29.36?
E, altitude ~2000 meters), Nainital: a high altitude location in central Himalayas.
Winter time observations reveal that the aerosols in this region provide a ??far-field picture,?? quite away from potential sources and
are more representative of free tropospheric conditions. This implies as to provide the background level of aerosols against which
the impact of aerosol loading from outlying low regions can be assessed. We present the results obtained from the measurements
of various aerosol parameters and their climatology over the site
Dr. P. Pant is a senior scientist and head of the Atmospheric Science Division at ARIES, Nainital. He has been carried out research & developmental
work in multifarious fields such as: solar activity, space weather, effects of surface layer turbulence on astronomical seeing, aerosol characterization,
lower and middle atmosphere, lightening generated atmospherics etc. He has published more than 50 papers. He has reviewed papers for various
reputed journals and PhD thesis in Atmospheric Science. Dr. Pant is principle investigator of various projects funded by Indian Space Research
Organization-Geosphere Biosphere Program (ISRO-GBP) for pursuing the research program in atmospheric science at ARIES, Nainital.
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