About the lab

We work on different atmospheric aspects of atmospheric chemistry and climate connection; including atmospheric pollution and its impact on climate, agriculture and health.

Apart from ground-based and satellite measurements, an ensemble of numerical and statistical models are used for the studies.

Model development and gridded data development for different trace gases are also performed.

Featured research (48)

We analyse the long-term (1980-2020) changes in aerosols over the Third Pole (TP) and assess the changes in radiative forcing (RF) using satellite, ground-based and reanalysis data. The annual mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) varies from 0.06 to 0.24, with the highest values of around 0.2 in the north and southwest TP, which are dominated by dust from Taklimakan and Thar deserts, respectively. However, Organic Carbon (OC), Black Carbon (BC) and sulphate aerosols have significant contribution to the total AOD in the south and east TP. High amounts of dust are observed in spring and summer, but BC in winter. Trajectory analysis reveals that the air mass originated from East and South Asia carries BC and OC, whereas the air from South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East brings dust to TP. Significant positive trends in AOD is found in TP, with high values of about 0.002/yr in the eastern and southern TP. There is a gradual increase in BC and OC concentrations during 1980-2020, but the change from 2000 is phenomenal. The RF at the top of the atmosphere varies from -10 to 2 W/m2 in TP, and high positive RF of about 2 W/m2 is estimated in Pamir, Karakoram and Nyainquentanglha mountains, where the massive glacier mass exists. The RF has increased in much of TP during recent decades (2001-2020) with respect to previous decades (1981-2000), which can be due to the rise in BC and dust during the latter period. Therefore, the positive trend in BC and its associated change in RF can amplify the regional warming, and thus, the melting of glaciers or ice in TP. This is a great concern as it is directly connected to the water security of many South Asian countries.
At higher concentrations, tropospheric ozone can cause respiratory difficulties, premature human mortality and can harm vegetation by reducing photosynthesis and its growth. It is an oxidant and also an important green- house gas with positive feedback to temperature. It is produced as a byproduct of chemical reactions involving nitrogen oxides (NO ) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight, rather than being emitted directly to the atmosphere. Here, we analyse the seasonal and inter-annual variability, long-term trends and radiative forcing of the tropospheric column ozone (TPO) in India for the period of 2005–2020 using satellite and ground-based data. The analysis shows very high annual averaged TPO in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) and North West India, about 45–50 DU. Our findings reveal a significant increase of TPO in India, with the highest trend in the peninsular region (0.295 ± 0.0617 DU/year) and the lowest in North West (0.179 ± 0.048 DU/ year). The increase in tropospheric ozone reveals a warming of about 0.5 °C in the troposphere as there is an as- sociated radiative forcing of about 0.2–0.5 W/m 2 at the tropopause (125 hPa); indicating that the increasing tropospheric ozone is a great concern for regional warming, public health and ecosystem dynamics.
Climate and agriculture experts emphasize the need to develop a carbon sink in the soil to help alleviate the effects of climate change. A 2‐year field experiment in semiarid tropical drylands tested sustainable nutrient management approaches to sequester carbon in the soil. We analyzed nine different treatments, including chemical fertilizers (as blanket and soil test‐based [STB] recommendations), sole organic (biochar and compost), and their combinations (with 75% and 50% STB recommendation) as integrated applications (integrated nutrient management [INM]) in the maize–chickpea cropping sequence. We report that biochar treatments show higher (24%–30%) organic carbon stock in the top layer of soil than the respective compost treatments. Furthermore, the biochar‐based INM showed the maximum residual effect in chickpea ( Cicer arietinum L.) crops. The system equivalent yield showed the best results (8 Mg ha ⁻¹ ) for 50% need‐based fertilizer and 50% biochar. Although we observed that sole‐biochar sequestered the highest amount of soil organic carbon (0.69%) in the topsoil compared to the other treatments, it was not scalable due to the lower yield for maize crops. Similarly, composts showed more labile carbon concentrations as microbial biomass but lagged behind biochar treatments for organic carbon storage. The system performance expressed as net returns and benefits–cost ratio also showed better results for biochar‐based INM. The findings show that drylands facing widespread land degradation in terms of nutrient imbalances and low C levels will benefit from an integrated approach of need‐based fertilizer with biochar application. Therefore, this might be a long‐term sustainable strategy for C‐sequestration and food security for semiarid tropical drylands.
The COVID-19 lockdown (LD) provided a unique opportunity to examine the changes in regional and global air quality. Changes in the atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations during LD warrant a thorough analysis as CO is a major air pollutant that affects human health, ecosystem and climate. Our analysis reveals a decrease of 5-10% in the CO concentrations during LD (April-May 2020) compared to the pre-lockdown (PreLD, March 2020) periods in regions with high anthropogenic activity, such as East China (EC), Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), North America, parts of Europe and Russia. However, this reduction did not occur in the regions of frequent and intense wildfires and agricultural waste burning (AWB). We find high heterogeneity in the CO column distributions, from regional to city scales during the LD period. To determine the sources of CO emissions during LD, we examined the ratios of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) to CO for about 3000 major cities in the world. This facilitated the identification of contributions from different sources; including vehicles, industries, AWB and forest fires during LD. The comparison between CO levels during the LD and PreLD periods indicates a notable reduction in the global tropospheric CO, but no significant change in the stratosphere. It is found that CO emissions decreased during LD in the hotspot regions, but rebounded after the LD restrictions were lifted. This study, therefore, highlights the importance of policy decisions and their implementations in the global and regional scales to improve the air quality, and thus to protect public health and environment.
Middle atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) has been considered as a dynamical tracer to study the transport in the stratosphere and mesosphere because of its long lifetime. However, most trend studies of CO are limited to troposphere and the Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere (UTLS). Here, we investigate the seasonal, annual and long-term changes of CO in the tropical (30° N–30° S) middle atmosphere (20–80 km) for the period of 2005–2021. CO shows a semi-annual oscillation in the higher altitudes of both stratosphere and mesosphere. The response of solar cycle to CO increases with altitude and is largest in the mesosphere. On the other hand, Quasi Biennial Oscillation (QBO) response to CO change is highest in the lower stratosphere. The CO trends are statistically insignificant at all altitudes, although they are positive in the height range 20–25 km and 32–40 km, at about 0.01–0.035/yr, depending on altitude. The observed changes in the middle atmospheric CO in the tropics are well reproduced by the Whole Atmospheric Chemical Climate Model (WACCM). Therefore, this study provides new insights on the long-term changes in the tropical middle atmospheric CO and its connection to dynamics of the region.

Lab head

Jayanarayanan Kuttippurath
  • Centre of Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land Sciences
About Jayanarayanan Kuttippurath
  • I work with atmospheric observations and numerical models to unravel the connection between the atmospheric composition and climate change.

Members (13)

Rahul Kashyap
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Vikas Patel
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Ajay Singh
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
G S Gopikrishnan
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Sunanda Narayanan
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Mansi Pathak
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Rony Peter
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Alumni (13)

Anandh Ts
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Sarath Raj
  • Kyung Hee University
Pankaj Kumar
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Surajit Murasingh
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur