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Indian Monsoon and Atmospheric Chemistry

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The monsoon across India along with the rest of Southeast Asia and China affects the lives of more than one third of the world’s population. Like its counterparts in West Africa and Australia, the Asian monsoon is characterized by extraordinary seasonal shifts in wind direction and is correlated during the summer months with heavy rainfall. Indian monsoon, the most prominent of the world’s monsoon systems, which primarily affects India and its surrounding water bodies.

During cooler months, it blows from the northeast and reverses course to blow from the southwest during the year's warmest months. During June and July, this process brings great quantities of rainfall to the area. In India, monsoon rains account for nearly 80 percent of the year's rainfall, making them crucial for the drinking water, agriculture and industry. So, the economy and society of India are perfectly designed to the remarkable stability of the monsoon, and the vulnerability to small changes in monsoon rainfall is very high.

Our group is working with international collaboration such as ECMWF, University of Reading and national collaboration such as IMD, IITM Pune on various projects. We make use of satellite such as GPM, TRMM, MODIS, Megha-Tropiques and reanalysis datasets such as ERA 5, JRA55, MERRA 2, NCEP and so on in our team and we study different aspects of Indian Monsoon and atmospheric chemistry. As many of the studies found that atmospheric variables such as trace gases, particulates and aerosols lead to the modification of Indian Monsoon. Hence, our study also focuses on the relation between the atmospheric water vapor, relative humidity, temperature, particulates and precipitation over global as well regional scale.

Climate models suggest that the summer monsoon in Asia is going to persist. Indeed, average summer rainfall may increase by around 5%, increasing the water available for crop production, power generation and industry. However, climate models also suggest greater variation in monsoon rainfall from year to year in the warmer world. Thus, the range between flood and drought conditions could be greater, both of which could be more extreme. We do not yet have a comprehensive knowledge of the processes going on, and we also know that climate models do not perform well in this critical challenging area where the atmosphere, oceans, mountains and lowlands all interact.

Our research is also looking at these aspects and aims to deliver better climate information on the Indian monsoon and impact of atmospheric variables on it. Prime motive of our group is to serve the society through scientific research work and we are doing that by reaching to them through publications in peer reviewed journals, seminars, workshops, social media and news media.