EGU24-638, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Aerosols enhance winter fog lifetime over North India

Arun Nair1, Chandan Sarangi1, and Yun Qian2
Arun Nair et al.
  • 1Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Civil Engineering, India (
  • 2Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA

Anthropogenic aerosols affect cloud properties and change their
lifetime, a phenomenon dubbed as aerosol-cloud interactions (ACi). Radiation fog is a
surface-level cloud formed due to night-time radiative cooling of the land surface. Each year,
north India experiences several prolonged fog events. These multi-day fog episodes can
affect surface visibility and air quality, affecting human health and the transportation sector.
From long-term observations, we find that the fog duration and foggy days are enhanced
during high aerosol loading periods over north India.
However, the mechanistic role of heavy aerosol pollution on the evolution, lifetime,
and frequency of North Indian fog episodes is still poorly understood. Using chemistry-
coupled regional model simulations, we find ACi leads to fog lifetime enhancement by
producing smaller droplets and reducing the droplet deposition rate. During the daytime, the
enhanced activation of aerosols into droplets prevents evaporation from the surface.
Interestingly, during this period, the aerosol radiative effect also helps produce conducive
surface conditions to delay fog dissipation. The unequivocal role of aerosol effects on the fog
lifetime over North India suggests the urgent need to regulate particulate pollution to reduce
long periods of fog.

How to cite: Nair, A., Sarangi, C., and Qian, Y.: Aerosols enhance winter fog lifetime over North India, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-638,, 2024.

Corresponding supplementary materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.