Absorbing aerosols, possible implication to crop yield - a comparison between IGB stations
While the measured average black carbon mass density (BC) reduces from February to March at Ranchi following an increase in convective mixing, it is observed to increase by 150% from February to March in Varanasi, as transport from northeast forest fires increases. It is observed that absorption due to black carbon of non-fossil fuel origin is prevalent throughout the day, in Varanasi, while this contribution is most significant during post sunset hours in Ranchi. BC effectively causes an apparent delayed sunrise by reducing the incoming radiation on the plains of Indo Gangetic Basin (IGB) by up to 25% at the daybreak. An estimate of crop loss due to cut off in radiation, using an empirical formula for crop yield as a function of radiation, indicates a possible loss of more than a quintal per hectare considering anthesis (February) and maturity (March) periods for the winter wheat in both the IGB stations with consistently higher losses in Varanasi.