Atmospheric Composition

Image: Atmospheric Composition on Phaplu, Nepal

Caption: Taken in Nepal during INDOEX. The top picture is a view to the north and the Himalayan Mts. Bottom slide is view to the south with heavy pollution.

An atmospheric phenomenon called the Asian Brown Cloud, a man-made haze of pollution, shrouds much of Asia and the Indian Ocean in winter and early spring. Here, the two pictures show north and south views from the same location. The top view shows a clear sky over Mount Everest. The bottom, southward view shows the brown haze that can reduce incoming solar radiation by 10-20%, potentially harming agriculture. One note on time scales: these human-caused, “brown cloud” aerosols stay in the atmosphere for only days and afflict a region, while greenhouse gasses work their harm globally and over decades-to-centuries.

Source: United Nations Environment Program Regional Resource Center for Asia and the Pacific


NSF Funded: yes through INDOEX project

Previous slide Next slide Back to first slide View graphic version