`MANY FACTORS INFLUENCE MONSOON'
have found that aerosols, depending on their kind, can dissipate or create clouds.We have been experimenting to see how certain aerosols can be used as cloud condensation nuclei in lower altitudes to aid raindrop formation.This experimental set up is called cloud seeding.
We are also trying to understand the effects of pollution on rain-bearing clouds.We have observed that in heavily polluted areas, cloud formation gets affected and water droplets are often much smaller and more distributed.The kind of pollution also affects cloud formation. We will have a clear picture about this in the next five to 10 years.
However, the research is equipment-intensive and often expensive.We collect data and make observations with aircrafts and our high altitude cloud lab in Mahabaleshwar. In the past we have been able to hire two aircrafts, one each for research and seeding. Currently due to budget cuts from the Union government we can hire only a single aircraft for research purposes, which costs between 10-20 crore for a season. We also require an advanced radar, which monitors clouds that have large radii of about 200 km. But this will cost about 14 crore. Hopefully, we can procure this and continue seeding experiments in the coming years.We have been looking for technological collaborations with interna
tional partners. while oceans provide an insight into seasonal changes.But we look into ice cores to get an idea of climatic changes and evolving patterns over the millennia.So,we conduct expeditions every year.We have been drilling for ice core samples from the Antarctic since the 1980s,from the Arctic in the last few years and from the Himalayas since last year. The idea is to cover the so called “three poles”which greatly influence the world’s hydrological and climatological processes. By studying these samples, we hope that we will be able to understand the influences of the polar regions,and reconstruct records of the past climatic and monsoon patterns.This will give us a clear picture of how climate has evolved and how it is affecting the monsoon.
Our work is apparatus intensive.We require polar vessels, drilling equipment, unmanned observation systems and instruments for atmospheric and oceanic observations. About 40 institutes and universities work with us since ncaor is the primary facilitator for all scientific institutions in the country that want to undertake polar research.