A new analysis by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Physical Research Laboratory has shown that the Hindu Kush-Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau region has been witnessing an alarming increase in aerosol levels.
Aerosols are tiny solid or liquid particles suspended in air or as a gas.
Aerosols can be natural, such as fog or gas from volcanic eruptions, or artificial, such as smoke from burning fossil fuels.
Aerosol particles are either emitted directly to the atmosphere (primary aerosols) or produced in the atmosphere from precursor gases (secondary aerosols).
Aerosol particles are tiny, but numerous, and often comprise of a number of inorganic and organic substances.
True aerosol particles range in diameter from a few millimicrometres to about 1 micrometre (equal to 10-4 cm).
Particles with a diameter of less than 0.1 micrometre are sometimes referred to as Aitken nuclei.
Visible forms of atmospheric aerosol plumes include smoke, smog, haze and dust.
Aerosol particles, such as dust, play an important role in the precipitation process, providing the nuclei upon which condensation and freezing take place.
They affect climate by reflecting or absorbing incoming solar radiation and enhancing the brightness, and thus reflectivity, of clouds.