Brown Clouds over South Asia: Biomass or Fossil Fuel Combustion?

  title={Brown Clouds over South Asia: Biomass or Fossil Fuel Combustion?},
  author={Orjan Gustafsson and Martin Krus{\aa} and Zdenek Zencak and Rebecca J. Sheesley and Lennart Granat and Erik Engstr{\"o}m and Puppala S. Praveen and P. S. Prakasa Rao and Caroline Leck and Henning Rodhe},
  pages={495 - 498}
Carbonaceous aerosols cause strong atmospheric heating and large surface cooling that is as important to South Asian climate forcing as greenhouse gases, yet the aerosol sources are poorly understood. Emission inventory models suggest that biofuel burning accounts for 50 to 90% of emissions, whereas the elemental composition of ambient aerosols points to fossil fuel combustion. We used radiocarbon measurements of winter monsoon aerosols from western India and the Indian Ocean to determine that… 
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Source forensics of black carbon aerosols from China.
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Atmospheric brown clouds: impacts on South Asian climate and hydrological cycle.
  • V. Ramanathan, C. Chung, M. Wild
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
An ensemble of coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations from 1930 to 2000 suggest that absorbing aerosols in atmospheric brown clouds may have played a major role in the observed regional climate and hydrological cycle changes and have masked as much as 50% of the surface warming due to the global increase in greenhouse gases.
Warming trends in Asia amplified by brown cloud solar absorption
It is suggested that atmospheric brown clouds contribute as much as the recent increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases to regional lower atmospheric warming trends and the combined warming trend of 0.25 K per decade may be sufficient to account for the observed retreat of the Himalayan glaciers.
Residential Biofuels in South Asia: Carbonaceous Aerosol Emissions and Climate Impacts
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It is shown that agricultural burning and especially biofuel use enhance carbon monoxide concentrations and Fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning cause a high aerosol loading, which gives rise to extensive air quality degradation.
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Strong aerosol cooling in the past and present would imply that future global warming may proceed at or even above the upper extreme of the range projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
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[1] Air from South Asia carries heavy loadings of organic and light-absorbing aerosol but low concentrations of ozone. We investigate ambient pollutant concentrations measured during the Indian Ocean