India: In an effort to understand the possible impact of climate change on rainfall, the Centre for Climate Change Research at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, is setting up a High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory at Mahabaleshwar — 4,770 ft above mean sea level.
According to G Pandithurai, climate scientist in-charge of the project, the observatory will record pre-monsoon and post-monsoon data using remote sensing technology.
The laboratory will study the clouds and their complex interactions with aerosol particles to understand the erratic monsoon pattern across the state. Aerosols are extremely fine liquid droplets or solid particles that remain suspended in the air like fog or smoke.
Data collected from the proposed observatory and its analysis will help in enhancing the understanding and effects of aerosol-cloud interactions, considered the largest uncertainty of climate change.
Mahabaleshwar was chosen as the ideal place because it is situated at 4,735 ft where clouds during the monsoon touch the ground. The observatory, expected to be operational by June 2011, will study the interaction of clouds with both natural and man-made aerosols.
Source: Hindustan Times