Satellite-based 3D structure of cloud and aerosols over the Indian Monsoon region: Implications for aerosol-cloud interaction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


  • Sagnik Dey
  • Kamalaika Sengupta
  • George Basil
  • Sushant Das
  • Nidhi
  • S. K. Dash
  • Arjya Sarkar
  • Parul Srivastava
  • P. Agarwal

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi


Accurate knowledge of vertical distributions of aerosol and cloud fields and their space-time variations are required to reduce the uncertainty in estimated climate forcing. Here, multi-sensor (both passive and active) data were used to construct the climatology of 3-D cloud and aerosol fields over the Indian monsoon region. Multilayer clouds are found to persist throughout the year, among which cumulus and stratocumulus dominate the low clouds and cirrus dominates the high clouds. A combination of passive stereo-technique (MISR) and radiometric technique (ISCPP) captures the multilayer cloud structure as revealed by active sensor CALIOP. Coexistence of low clouds throughout the year with high aerosol concentration beneath and above leads to a transition from increasing to decreasing cloud fraction with an increase in aerosol optical depth. Such transition is rapid in the monsoon season due to convergence of low clouds to form high clouds facilitated by high aerosol loading. Further, the regional climate model RegCM 4.1 has been used to examine aerosol-cloud interaction. The aerosol-induced changes of low cloud amount are under-estimated by the model. The observation-based seasonal climatology of aerosol and cloud fields presented here may help in improving the model simulations of cloud variability and associated rainfall.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemote Sensing and Modeling of the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Interactions IV
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
EventRemote Sensing and Modeling of the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Interactions IV - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 31 Oct 20121 Nov 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceRemote Sensing and Modeling of the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Interactions IV


  • Aerosol, Cloud, Indian monsoon, Interaction, Regional climate model, Vertical structure

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