Atmospheric Aerosols Studies over Arctic: Initiatives for Long Term Data and Preliminary Results

Introduction Polar regions are expected to provide an early signal of global warming and change in the Earth’s climate system, due to feedback effects associated with the high albedo of snow and ice (Alterskjaer et al., 2010; Shindell, 2008; Wang and Key, 2005; Chaubey et al., 2010). Although snow and ice albedo feedbacks are the key concern in the polar region, distribution of aerosols in the atmosphere is also an important factor in controlling the Earth’s radiation budget and affecting snow and ice albedo (Nagel et al., 1998; Flanner et al., 2007). A small quantity of absorbing aerosols (anthropogenic or natural) over the highly reflecting snow might enhance the warming of the atmosphere and the deposition of these particles over the surface of the snow or ice may reduce the albedo (Hansen and Nazarenko, 2004). As such, there is an increased interest and need to investigate the properties of polar aerosols, and their spatial temporal and microphysical properties to understand their climate forcing potential (Herber et al., 1993; Schwartz and Andreae, 1996; Sharma et al., 2004; IPCC, 2007; Quinns et al., 2007; Babu et al., 2011; Chaubey et al., 2011). Out of the two polar regions, aerosol properties in Antarctic are still less influenced by anthropogenic activities than those over Arctic. Antarctica is a unique continent at the extreme south, separated from the other populated continental masses, making it one of the most pristine...

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