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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 649156, 20 pages
Review Article

Aerosol-Precipitation Interactions over India: Review and Future Perspectives

1Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
2Computational Earth Sciences Group, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Pune 411007, India

Received 2 August 2013; Revised 8 October 2013; Accepted 24 October 2013

Academic Editor: Ana I. Calvo

Copyright © 2013 S. Ramachandran and S. Kedia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atmospheric aerosols can interact with clouds and influence the hydrological cycle by acting as cloud condensation nuclei. The current study reviews the results obtained on aerosol-precipitation interactions over India and the surrounding oceanic regions. An analysis of aerosol and cloud characteristics over the Arabian Sea, India, and the Bay of Bengal during summer monsoon in the last decade reveals large regional, intraseasonal, and interannual variations. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) and aerosol absorbing index (AAI) in 2002 (a drought year) are higher over India when compared to normal monsoon years. Cloud effective radius (CER) and cloud optical thickness exhibit a negative correlation with AOD over India, which agrees well with the indirect radiative effects of aerosols. Over Bay of Bengal CER is positively correlated with AOD suggesting an inverse aerosol indirect effect. In future, observatories to measure aerosol characteristics (amount, size, type, chemical composition, mixing, vertical and horizontal distributions), and cloud properties (number and size) over several locations in India, and intense observational campaigns involving aircraft and ships are crucial to unravel the quantitative impact that aerosols have on Indian monsoon. Satellite remote sensing of aerosol distribution, their chemical composition, microphysical properties of clouds, solar irradiance, and terrestrial longwave radiation is important.