MOPITT total column CO over the Indian Subcontinent: Spatial variability and long term trend
Total column carbon monoxide (CO) concentration obtained from MOPITT (Measurement Of Pollution In The Troposphere) have been analyzed over the Indian subcontinent for a period of March, 2000 to December, 2010. Average monthly variation of columnar CO is investigated over the eastern and western coasts of India (latitude > 18°N). The columnar CO concentration is found to be larger over the east coast than the west coast. The higher columnar CO concentrations (2.3–2.8 x 1018 molec/cm 2) occur during November to April months over both the coastal regions. The lower columnar CO concentrations (1.6–1.7 x 1018 molec/cm 2) occur during July-August months over these coastal regions when air blows from the Bay of Bengal towards the east coast and from the Arabian Sea towards the west coast. The latitudinal variations of ten year averaged columnar CO are also investigated over the eastern and western coastlines of India (23.5°N to 8.5°N). The latitudinal gradient is stronger over the eastern coast (3.2 x 1016 molec/cm 2/°N) with respect to the western coast (8.6 x 1015 molec/cm 2/°N) due to injection of highly polluted air mass from the Indo-Gangetic Plain over the northern part of Bay of Bengal. In order to investigate the source of pollution, variation of columnar CO concentration over the 11 polluted cities situated in the Indo-Gangetic plain has been examined. Columnar CO concentrations are found to be significantly higher over the southeast Indo-Gangetic plain and show a linear decreasing tendency from southeast to northwest cities. The maximum columnar CO concentration is observed over Patna (~ 2.48 x 1018 molec/cm 2) and minimum over Multan (~ 2.19 x 1018 molec/cm 2). This indicates that south-eastern part of Indo-Gangetic plain is mainly contributing towards enhancement in columnar CO concentration over the eastern coast. Columnar CO concentration showed an increasing trend during 2000 to 2010 over all the 11 cities. This increasing tendency is stronger over the cities situated in the southeast part of Indo-Gangetic plain.