Atmospheric and Climate Sciences

Earth System Science, Climate Change, Aerosol – biosphere – climate, Aerosol – cryosphere interaction, Bioaerosol and ecosystem health impact, climate modeling, Tropical Indian Climate, Atmospheric dynamics

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The interdependence of atmosphere and climate processes makes it imperative that we study and investigate weather phenomena, atmospheric composition, and climate systems in more niceties. Although much progress has been made in this direction over the last few decades, understanding underlying mechanisms responsible for overall climate change, extreme weather phenomenon, severe air pollution episodes, and changing hydrological cycle, however, remains very limited. Contrary to the global climate system, the Indian climate system is more complex, challenging, and requires much more in-depth research to understand human activities' future implications better. This is partly due to the limited enhancement in the fundamental scientific knowledge about the Indian climate system.

  • There are many complex processes, which are not clearly understood and raise significant problems like: Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) system; it is not clearly understood what has caused the recent increase in intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall events? Why are the cyclones in recent times known to have more energy (wind and rainfall) at the times of landfall? How are these cyclones going to respond to future temperature increase; will they be more devastating? While the aerosols are known to affect the rainfall significantly, anthropogenic aerosols' role and impact on ISMR are least understood.

  • How is the change in ISMR, in turn, going to affect the water resources management over India? First, to comprehend these problems, secondly to clearly outline their potential impacts, and thirdly to devise the strategy to adapt and mitigate, enhancement in the fundamental understanding of atmospheric and climatic processes, over the Indian region, is the focus of this Laboratory for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences (LACS)

Atmospheric and Climate Sciences

Sachin S. Gunthe

Principal Investigator



The overall workplan of the proposed center is divided in to two major parts i) establishing a center, which will carry out fundamental research in the proposed areas by bringing in faculty to collaborate from IIT Madras with faculties form other national and international top call institutions, and ii) to introduce a masters program in “Atmospheric and Climate Sciences” in association with world’s top institutions. Below is the detailed workplan as to how each individual proposed objective will subserve the overall objective of the proposal.

Objective 1: Understanding atmospheric and cloud dynamics

This objective, which will provide knowledge enhancement about the specific theme of atmospheric and cloud dynamics based on available scientific resources and data pertinent to Indian region. For example, we intend to use the long-term measurement data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) about rainfall, temperature, wind, etc. to better understand and unravel how the atmosphere and cloud dynamic have evolved over the Indian region. The PIs have the vast experience of using this data set as evident from the top quality and highly cited peer reviewed publications. This research would form the basis for understanding the climate dynamics and cloud properties purely by means of understanding the large data sets, and application artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be explored as one of the newest fields for the purpose. Nevertheless, this particular group eventually will be leading force of the research in the center. The research in this field particularly focuses on investigating the atmospheric flows from few meters to the global scale; specifically affecting the Indian climate system. The physical phenomenon pertaining to mountain meteorology would be given special emphasis as current climate models are not able to constrain the meteorology over the complex terrain. Atmospheric dynamic varies from few seconds to years on time scale and can affect few centimeters to thousands of kilometers (Fig. 2). Therefore, a network of meteorological station capable of collection the data in high time and space resolution over mountainous region is priority to collect the meteorological data to validate the climate models and improve the parameterizations pertaining to Indian climate. It is important to note here that major parameterization and physics schemes in all climate models are developed for climate and atmosphere not specific to India. This is one of the very important reasons that current climate models fail to perform the accurate prediction of weather systems over India. Investigating the boundary layer properties is of the troposphere over the land and ocean is important to understand the atmosphere and cloud dynamics for the coastal regions. The tropical coastal regions are strikingly distinct than the high latitude region particularly because all the severe weather phenomena are formed and originates in the tropical ocean. The expertise is available within the proposed group along with their strong collaborations. The understanding of tropical atmosphere is essential component of looking into the tropical cloud dynamic. Indian climate system is very complex and unique, which results in diverse cloud formation scenarios over India. For example, during pre-monsoon season we expect strong convective clouds with strong thunderstorms. One of the fundamental problems here is to understand the dynamics of how cloud droplets are converted to rain droplets. This is one of the long-standing problems in the field of cloud physics. As a group we have already made a substantial progress in understanding the role and implication of aerosol chemistry (objective #2; discussed below) on the cloud formation over Indian region, the rain droplet formation mechanism is poorly understood. We propose the systematic observation of cloud properties at our well established and well-equipped high-altitude laboratory at Munnar so that Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) to be carried out to better understand the cloud dynamics. The data for the cloud properties to be collected throughout the year so that DNS can be carried out for various type of clouds. In view of the increasing trend in intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall events during monsoon season, it is extremely important that the current efforts in understanding the monsoon variabilities and prediction in greater detail the formation mechanisms of rain droplets from cloud droplet is clearly understood.

Dynamics of MST exchange on a large temporal scale demonstrating the interlinking of atmospheric dynamic from tropical to polar region. Obtained from Atmospheric Dynamic Research Infrastructure in Europe program. Image is only for depiction purpose.

The proposed group has been collaborating with experts from various other institutions to work on this problem and a preliminary progress has already been made in this direction. Further, the tropical cyclone is one of the most important weather phenomena, which regularly affects the coastal Indian region, in particular the eastern coast of India. The accurate prediction of the formation, track, and landfall of these cyclone is extremely important and requires the deeper understanding the tropical climate and atmosphere. While such an expertise is already available with the group, it is also important to investigate how these cyclones are going to respond the future climate change. For example, it is extremely necessary to understand how a past cyclone would behave if it were to occur under 2.5ºC increase in global temperature. This part of research would also form the important share of the coursed, which are being proposed for the masters program of the center. The knowledge gained through the research about atmospheric and cloud dynamics over this particular region in addition to previous knowledge through this objective would greatly subserve the main objective about having a center, which will strive for top quality fundamental research in atmosphere and climate sciences, produce excellent manpower. The top-quality peer reviewed publications in this area enhancing the fundamental understanding of atmosphere and cloud dynamics and also introducing the relevant courses would be primary metrics to evaluate the success of work element. The detailed workplan for this particular objective in two phases is shown in Fig. 3 in terms of the work chart.

Objective 2: Gas phase and aerosol chemistry of the troposphere

Under this objective center will strive to work on challenges associated with understanding the role of anthropogenic emissions in changing composition of gas phase and aerosols in tropospheric region. The implication of changing gas phase and aerosol chemistry on the local and regional scale will be the priority to understand and its potential implication on visibility, regional atmospheric chemistry, and human health will be the priority. For the purpose, laboratory studies, ground based field measurement campaigns over contrasting locations, and atmospheric chemistry climate modeling will be the key. This particular objective is currently the strongest part of the center where this group of faculties have the much-proven record in terms of top-quality peer reviewed publications. This group is already engaged in several national and international field measurement campaign. To compliment the high-quality observational data obtained from these field measurement campaigns we do have a strong modeling group to understand the implications of changing chemistry climate and future scenarios on regional atmospheric chemistry. While it is important to understand increasing levels of pollution by performing the observations over the polluted regions like New Delhi, Indo-Gangetic plain (IGP), other metro locations, etc. at the same time it is also equally important to perform the long-term measurements of pollutant over the cleaner regions, which are relatively less affected by increasing emissions. In view of this we are involved in a large-scale international project of carrying out long-term measurements in the Amazonian rainforest. Further, on the similar grounds to understand the impact of increasing pollution in the Indian context, it is important for us to have the baseline measurements specific to the Indian region. To understand the implication of increasing pollution over the Indian region, we have established a well-equipped high-altitude laboratory in Munnar (1700 meters above mean sea level), which represents the cleanest condition possible in India and free from strong anthropogenic sources, particularly during monsoon season. We are intending to initiate the long-term measurements at this site for major pollutants. These observations are extremely important to understand and differentiate the emissions and role of anthropogenic and natural gases and their role in atmospheric chemistry and aerosol formation. It has now been well recognized that secondary aerosol derived from anthropogenic and natural precursors play varied role in cloud and precipitation forming processes. Understanding the role of atmospheric aerosols in cloud and precipitation formation is one of the most important climate challenges as aerosol-cloud-climate interaction represents the largest uncertainty in current and future understanding of the climate change. Further, we have also done the filed measurements campaign in high polluted Delhi region to understand the fundamental chemistry behind the visibility reduction in Delhi atmosphere during every winter, which is causing great financial and human loss. We are in process of writing very top-quality peer reviewed publications from this campaign and one of our papers is now under the second review in prestigious Nature journal. The group has long-standing credentials in the international community of Atmospheric Chemistry as evident not only from the top-quality peer reviewed publications but also from the strong presence in collaborative work, we representation as editors of reputed journals, members of various scientific committees, etc. The current instrumentation available at IIT Madras to study the physical, chemical, and biological properties of atmospheric aerosols is unique and only available with IIT Madras and no other institution in India. Further, a well-equipped laboratory is available to study the advanced studies related to the gas phase chemistry. For example, a cavity ring down spectrometer is available to investigated one of the most important aspects of atmospheric chemistry related to OH reactivity, a problem, which is at the forefront of the atmospheric chemistry. The observational work carried out in terms of atmospheric chemistry and aerosol composition is very pioneering and is of national importance. The results obtained from this research are being used by various climate modelers to better understand the regional atmospheric chemistry over the Indian region. It is important to note that the interaction among human activity, chemical and physical processes, atmospheric composition affecting the climate is not only complex but also region specific. For example, for visibility degradation in New Delhi and Chennai may be the chemical constituents may be same, however, the underlying processes and mechanism could be totally different. Thus, the tropospheric processes as shown in Fig. 3 are well established to exhibit strong perturbations from global to local scale influenced by meteorology, local emissions, availability solar radiation, and role of aerosols. The regional atmospheric chemistry is very complex and is strongly governed by the very local radiations, temperature, relative humidity, etc. and makes it difficult to understand

Depiction of complex interaction among various human activities, atmospheric composition, chemical and physical processes and collective implication on the climate from global to local scale. (Adopted and modified from DLR-IMF, after WMO-IGACO 2004 only for representation purpose).

mainly due to the lack of long-term systematic observations of toxic pollutants. The measurements of these pollutant should not be only limited to regular monitoring of criteria pollutants but should and must be extended to other important pollutants like HCl, aerosol chemistry, etc. To summarize this objective the major focus would be to national and international field campaigns, laboratory studies of the gas-phase chemistry, and chemical climate modeling. As will be discussed below the atmospheric chemistry would be one of the major subjects for the masters program we are proposing here.

Objective 3: Climate Science and Impacts on the Biosphere

One of the most important challenges currently faced by the policy makers are how to relate climate change and impact science. It is important to understand here we are not talking about climate change impact on biosphere alone. For example, it is well known what the impact of sea level rise would be; however, it would be more important to quantify the sea level rise and how on the ground to tackle it. Thus, here we aim to address the issues of direct societal relevance including biosecurity of Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and Western Ghats (WG) ecosystem, link between air regional air quality and human health, impact of pathogenic bioaerosols on food security, etc. The role of terrestrial biosphere is extremely important and complex in the Earth climate system. We propose to investigate how land-use change may affect terrestrial ecosystem including the fragile and sensitive ecosystems like IHR and WG and in turn how these changes would affect the climate system. For example, it is now well established that change in land-use patter can affect the monsoon on the regional or even on local scale, the other minute climate impact of this interaction, however, is not well understood. Here we intend to collaborate with leading national and international experts to use the effectively use the satellite remote sensing data, atmospheric trace gases measurements and laboratory experiments, and climate models to investigate large scale interaction between terrestrial ecosystem and climate. Other important areas to be focused are about biogenic emissions of gases in the forest and bioaerosols impact on crops and human health. It has recently been recognized that there is an increasing trend in emerging infectious diseases due to fungal attacks on crops. There is no denial that this is going to be a big research area in coming decades related to food security and saving the ecosystems. The group at IIT Madras is only group in India focusing and carrying out pioneering fundamental research on understanding the type and diversity of atmospheric bioaerosols under contrasting environments using the advanced DNA analysis technique. We will try to rope in the collaborators to enhance the understanding of the implications of the climate variability and change on ecosystem in general with specific focus on bioaerosol research. This requires the in depth understanding of physical mechanism of changes associated with global and regional climate

The complex interaction between and among biosphere, land-use, and hydrological cycle and various processes including with human interaction. The complex interaction clearly shows the importance of understanding the climate science in detail over a given region to better understand the impacts.

The fundamental understanding of the climate sciences is extremely important for unravelling the complex interlinks between various processes. For example, the climate change has a strong implication on perturbing the hydrological cycle by means of change in water vapor concentration in the atmosphere. This in turn can greatly affect the biosphere in general through the various terrestrial processes. The biosphere once stressed due to lack of water resources can strongly affect the land use pattern through human interaction, which can further change the response to the climate change. Such a complex interaction is depicted in Fig. 4. It is also important to note that the processes and interactions depicted here are strongly related to other objectives mentioned here. For example, for the improved understanding of the hydrological cycle it is important to understand the role of changing aerosol properties on cloud and precipitation forming processes. This in turn is complimentary and pertinent to develop the schemes and parameterization to be used in the prognostic modeling dealing with prediction of monsoon and monsoon related processes. Another example of strong interlinking of the processes is in terms of impact of changing land use on climate feedback. It has been well established that the changing land use pattern strongly affects the monsoon circulation on regional/local scale thus altering the availability of water quantity, requiring smart and well-planned water resource management policies. The overreaching scientific goal under this objective would be devoted to important aspect related to investigate and enhance our understanding about physical cryosphere – atmosphere interaction processes responsible for perturbing the Asian high mountain snow and ice. One of the key issues in this direction is about the darkening of snow and ice over and glacier mass balance with respect to radiative forcing by global warming over Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). In this objective, we will further elucidate the role of black carbon (BC) emissions and dust loading over the entire IHR by means of the systematic and exclusive road measurement campaign by deploying state-of-the-art instrumentation. The majority of the instruments required for such a study are already available with PIs as a part of proposed center. A recent paper, highlighting the novel approach and importance of this emerging area is published in high impact factor journal Nature Climate Change.

The three objectives pertaining to research proposed here are being researched by the top institutions across the globe including MIT, Harvard University, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, University of Manchester, Georgia Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, ETH Zurich, etc. This clearly indicates the importance of this research in global context. We will closely collaborate with all these institutions to bring in the strong international presence for the center by close association in research, teaching, and field measurement campaigns.

Objective 4: Masters program in “Atmospheric and Climate Sciences”

For the curriculum of M. Tech./M. Sc. intend to start with 10 students per year. As the courses and center, if sanctioned, moves forward we also wish to bring more sponsored candidates from various national agencies. PIs personal interactions with top officials of various national institutions and departments have revealed that there is a strong and urgent need for such a course in Atmospheric and Climate Sciences. To the best of PIs knowledge, it would be first course in any of the first generation IITs fully dedicated to atmospheric and climate sciences. Rather than following a traditional timeline for the courses we intend to propose slightly different and more liberal way of conducting this course. For, example, we intend to welcome with two weeks of introductory course about atmosphere and climate conducted by one faculty member. This will be supplemented by lectures about ongoing research carried out by faculty members of the institute, which are either directly in the area of atmosphere and climate or in allied areas. We intend to give the special emphasis on student seminars with a strong motivation of knowledge exchange among the students. The students will also be asked to write small proposals as a part of their future master project preparations. The students will be asked to review the projects among themselves. This will strengthen their scientific writing skills and introduce them to typical writing and reviewing skills.

Expected deliverables of the research

Publications and visible output

Phase – I (1 – 2 Years)

During Phase – I for first two years the major deliverables will include: i) Introducing a first of its kind masters course in Atmospheric and Climate Science with extensive courses and practical approach ii) Make sure the curriculum grows further by approaching national research laboratories, industries, etc. iii) Strong capacity building in terms of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences research iv) Publications in high impact factor journals. Note that the PIs have already published papers in journal of high to very high impact factor: Nature Communications, Nature Climate Change, Nature (under review), Nature Geoscience, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Environmental Pollution, Scientific Report, Atmospheric Research, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Building and Environment, etc. State-of-the-art and most advanced instrumentation facility to study the aerosol properties and atmospheric chemistry for climate, health, biosphere impact. Few of the major equipment for advanced aerosol and gas phase chemistry worth Rs. 12 Crore are available with the PIs. We wish to supplement with some basic equipment in first two year like meteorological stations, microscopes, EC-OC analyzer, etc. This will greatly help to have one of the most advanced Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Laboratories in India. For example, it is important to note that UV-APS instrument, which is used to measure the online and real-time concentration of bioaerosols in high time and size resolutions. Thus, with the procurement of some basic but extremely pertinent and complimentary aerosol and gas-phase instruments we will have advanced atmospheric and climate laboratory of the world. We will regular arrange the colloquiums of the speakers of international reputes from all across the globe. In the beginning we will coordinate and conduct these colloquiums in online mode and slowly move on to inviting people here for long-term visits and conduct classes for our students.

Phase – II (3-5 Years)

During Phase – II for the remaining three years major deliverables will include i) Enhancing the masters curriculum to the Ph.D. level and increase the number of masters seats by means of sponsored candidates, ii) explore the possibility of joint Global masters program with top universities/institutions, where collaborations are already is in place. iii) in third year, International Conference on Atmospheric and Climate Science is proposed with world renowned scientists. We intend to club this with important meetings of Atmospheric and CP Journal Editors, members of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), etc. PI is already in contact with all the members and renowned scientists across the globe for such a world conference to be held at IIT Madras in December 2023, iv) publishing papers in top quality peer reviewed journal will be the top priority of the center, and based on the research direction, which is being proposed the PIs are confident of continuing their current tempo of top quality journal publications, v) throughout the establishment of the center possibility for external funding by means of donor (like Divecha Center in IISc), sponsorship from ministries (like MoES or agencies like DST), joint funding from international partners, etc will be priority. This effort is to make center independent in its masters program, research, and overall administration. vi) During 4th year we will acquire the further high-end instruments, and vii) publication in top quality peer reviewed journal is going to be the main yardstick for performance evaluation.

Manpower development

As mentioned in the previous sections, the capacity building is set as one of the main objectives, mainly because there is a scarcity of atmospheric and climate science trained students for doctoral students worldwide in top institutions. Thus 10 MTech/MS students are proposed to start with. Further, we 5 doctoral students for next three years will be admitted for PhD program. It is important to note that we have been receiving the applications from the students those who are CSIR-NET, INSPIRE, etc. qualified bringing their own fellowship. In five years, we aim to graduate minimum 30 – 40 doctoral students. We also receive regular applications from CSIR-Post Doctoral fellows brining their own fellowship. Three such students including one post-doc are already working with PIs. At the onset of the center, we expect to have 10 M.Tech, 5 Phd, and 2 post-doctoral fellows in the center. The faculty for teaching other courses will be participating from various institutions like NARL, PRL, IITM Pune, IMD Delhi, etc. We will put in a framework in the place to develop the competencies, which are necessary for students at different levels. We will have the full-fledged plan for the skillful development, training, and research for the students. At this moment we are receiving the application from the CSIR-NET rank holders, INSPIRE to fellow, University topper, etc., which itself is an indicator of strong potential of high-quality resources. In my personal opinion (PI) gender diversity is extremely important and I pledge to have the following as a policy, within the given framework of the institute, for the gender diversity: i) Awareness about importance and value of gender diversity, ii) removal of gender coded words from all the correspondences and postings, iii) devise the specific benefits plan, and iv) removal of names from any hiring in the center (blind assessment of résumés). A special emphasis will be given in showcasing the achievements of the center/faculty on various platforms using the effective and strong mode of communications; like infographics for each faculty summarizing their research achievements, short videos explaining research with doodle videos in the background, flyers of the center, and suitably projecting the research achievements. To summarize, we will focus on conducting workshop, conferences, and training programs for awareness about atmosphere and climate change. This will help to attract the young and bright minds in the field of climate change.

Current status



The internationalization of the center for the recognition of the world level would be mainly targeted by publishing the research papers in top quality peer reviewed journals. Alternatively following three major efforts will be implemented for the internationalization:

  • Collaborations: We strongly believe that we probably have one of the best collaborations in the field of atmospheric and climate sciences. PI has been actively collaborating with top institutions like Harvard University, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Manchester University, Georgia Tech., etc. This collaboration is at very matured and high-quality stage as evident from PIs yearly visits, student exchange, and top-quality joint publications. We have no hesitation to mention that out top quality active collaboration in the field of atmospheric and climate sciences is unmatched in India and our strongest point. The current PhD students at these institutions have already shown strong interest in YIF program and we are in talk with two recent PhD students form Manchester University and Max Planck Institute. Currently a collaborator from Georgia Tech. has been appointed as Adjunct Faculty in CE department and is jointly guiding MTech students and will soon be appointed as a co-guide for a doctoral student, who is expected to join under IDRP program once the campus is reopened. At the same time PI already an associate researcher at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry actively taking part in their curriculum. Further, PIs application for adjunct faculty at Georgia Tech., and University of Manchester is being considered.

  • International education program: There is a strong possibility and option for an international masters program in Atmospheric and Climate Science. Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Harvard University, University of Manchester, and Georgia Institute of Technology, et. al. will be the international partners for joint masters program. The program goals and possible outcomes are as follow:

    • Goal: Assist the students in internationalizing their degree at IIT Madras to broaden their global exposure and perspective

    • Outcome: develop cross-cultural skillset and understanding among students; possibility to build global network; development of internationally recognizable skills; interpret multiple perspectives.

  • Program structure: To start with the MTech/MS student will get an opportunity to spend one semester of their last two project semesters at one of the aforementioned institutions. All the institutions have extended a support letter to cover their research cost whereas the other financial support has been provisioned in the budget proposed for this center. Thus, as mentioned in Chart 1 as a part of masters thesis student will spent 6-8 weeks at the institutions mentioned above.

    • Employment opportunity: One of the most relevant and effective job options would be getting PhD positions in top institutions. At this moment there is no such a dedicated curriculum is available at masters level in India. At this moment the students from non-core areas like Physics, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, etc. are given the preferences due to the scarcity of trained and specialized students in atmospheric and climate sciences. Also, lots of national laboratories and agencies like IMD, IITM, NARL, ISRO, SPL, etc. do required technical assistants in such a background. Further, various non-governmental organizations, working in areas like climate policies, sustainability, awareness and assessment about climate change, environmental impact assessment consultant, etc. are the potential job opportunities.
  • International conferences: Right from the date of sanction of the center we wish to start preparation for organizing an International conference on “Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Impacts”. We have actually been planning for such a conference for a longtime but could not due to the lack of funding. We intend to organize this conference in January 2023 in association with WMO, IGAC, iLEAPS, ACPC, and WCRP (World Climate change Research Program). The possible Themes are as follow:

    • Aerosol and Gas phase Chemistry (with following sub-themes)

      • Aerosol – cloud interaction
      • Aerosol radiative forcing and glacier impact
      • Gas phase measurements under varying environments
      • Bioaerosols and ecosystem health interaction
      • Urban climate change and pollution
      • Aerosol and health exposure – outdoor and indoor
      • Satellite observations of gases and aerosols
    • Atmospheric and cloud dynamics (with following sub-themes)

      • Boundary layer meteorology
      • Micrometeorology
      • Cloud dynamic and related simulations
      • Cyclone: Observations and modeling
      • Satellite remote sensing for atmosphere, climate, and ocean
      • Balloon measurements of the atmosphere
    • Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Modelling

      • Modeling the tropospheric chemistry
      • Aerosol: satellite remote sensing and numerical modeling
      • Air quality modelling
      • Aerosol – cloud – precipitation interaction: DNS modeling
      • Radar observations and modeling
  • Young International Faculty and International field measurement campaign: PI has been the part of multi-institutional field measurement campaigns since last 15 years. In atmospheric and climate sciences the field measurement campaigns have extreme importance, where multiple institutes together suitable to their expertise pool their advance and state-of-the-art instrumentation at locations, which are under studied and have strong potential to unravel novel and comprehensive findings. In the past the various campaigns like AMAZE, GoAmazon, ATTO, CAREBeijing, PridePRD, CLACE6, SAFARI, etc., have been conducted across the globe and resulted in top quality peer reviewed publications in journals like Nature, Science, PNAS, Nature Geoscience, Nature Climate Change, etc. These kinds of field measurement campaigns actually require almost a year of preparation from various institutions. At this stage the collaborating institutions are planning a huge field measurement campaign led by IIT Madras to be held by the end of 2023. For this purpose, various institutions have agreed to send their bright post-docs to IIT Madras under YIF, which will not only be important for IIT Madras but also to collaborating institutions for effective and better planning of the field measurement campaign. The international field measurement campaign led by IIT Madras where collaborating and other top institutions are involved, is one of the most effective, productive, and scientifically enriching ways to put the center on international radar in very small-time frame. During such a campaign, all the institutions bring in their state-of-the-art advanced instrumentation to perform the wide range of measurements, which may include climate parameters, weather phenomenon, atmospheric chemistry composition, advanced cloud properties, etc. The institutions participate with their own manpower, instruments, and bear the major expenses related to the campaign to be carried out in India. IIT Madras is expected to provide the minimum expenses like accommodation for the participants, local travel, custom clearance charges, contingency expenses, etc. for setting up instruments and performing the measurements. The measurements are planned in Chennai and high-altitude site of Munnar. Please note that the total cost of the instruments, which could be brought in India for such a campaign could be more than Rs. 100 crores.

    Societal impact

Sustenance statement :

First thing we are going to adopt in the center, if successful, is to have the periodic internal assessment and appoint an advisory committee, which will include experts from national and

Component and representation of sustenance plan for three major components of the center; faculty, research, and funding. Each component is strongly interrelated and have bearing on the overall performance of the center.

international institutions, which will be other than the collaborators of the faculty group. Further, at this moment we together have more than worth Rs. 20 crores of advanced and state-of-the-art instrumentation either obtained through external funding and long-term loan under collaborations. These instruments are currently being supported from external funding and under collaborations. When we obtain the other advanced instrumentation under CoE we intend to undertake joint research with international partners; since the research would be a joint venture our international patterns have already agreed to support the maintenance and further operational cost of the high-end equipment. This is more because the measurement data obtained under various environments would be jointly used for joint publications in top quality peer reviewed journals. The role, responsibilities, and roadmap for faculty, research, and funding is framed for easy and effective understanding in Chart 4. We are aware that their various foundations (for example, *Sloan foundation, Ford foundation, Ayrshire foundation, Bancker-William foundation, Barr foundation, Bloomberg philanthropies, Caldera foundation, etc.). Based on PIs past experience in dealing with one of the foundations for funding to one of the American universities we are very confident and hopeful that based on good curriculum, top quality peer reviewed publications, and a systematic approach with our world class collaborator we stand a good chance for getting a donor for the center. Thus, after second year, along with our international partner as an international group we intend to get in touch with various foundations for establishing (taking CoE forward) on IIT Madras campus. One of the reasons for such a support is India will be a key player in coming years for climate change related studies for multiple reasons including exerting largest pressure on climate to providing the potential climate change solutions to the world.

Technical/ Scientific Progress

New work done in the project

Following are the major achievements
  1. 12 publications in top quality peer reviewed journals
  2. Establishment of a high-altitude laboratory in Munnar as mentioned in the original proposal
  3. Completion of 4 months of long-term measurements at high-altitude site in Munnar to better understand the natural aerosol-biosphere-climate processes
  4. Improved climate modeling in to enhance the scientific understanding about the role of complex processes in climate system
  5. Enhancement in understanding the role of various chemical reactions relevant to the atmospheric oxidation processes.
  6. Improved understanding about the role of futuristic climate change on cyclonic activities and resultant impacts

Infrastructure developments

The following new infrastructure is developed/being developed

  1. State-of-the-art advanced fluorescent microscope for detecting the biological aerosols and airborne microplastic
  2. Spectroradiometer for understanding the role of dust particles in enhancing the glacial melting
  3. Laser for advancement in cavity ring down spectrometer to better understand the reaction kinetics of the reactions relevant to the atmospheric oxidation processes
  4. Improved computational facilities
  5. Establishment of oxidation flow reactor for fundamental understanding of aerosol oxidation is under process


  1. IRIS Webinar was conducted in collaboration with Harvard University
  2. Media coverage for studies related to Delhi air pollution
  3. Collaborative visits are planned in coming summer.


Visits planned for PI, co-PIs, international collaborators and students (both inbound and outbound)


  1. PI is visiting Harvard University next summer
  2. Visit of two PhD students was planned at Manchester University and Georgia Tech but now postponed due to COVID
  3. Prof. Hugh Coe from Manchester University is expected to visit IIT Madras in August
  4. Two students from Harvard University and Georgia Tech is expected to visit IIT Madras in August


Industrial Engagement

University Engagement

Collaborative research is going with Harvard University, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Manchester University, and Georgia Tech as evident from the publications.


Relevant Updates

We have made substantial progress as per the objectives, which are focused on the fundamental understanding of the climate related issues over India and we wish to focus on the top quality peer reviewed publications as we have done in the past one year.