Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Infobox_Scientist
name = Veerabhadran Ramanathan


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birth_place = Madurai, India
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field = Atmospheric Scientist
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work_institution = Scripps Institution of Oceanography
alma_mater = Stony Brook
doctoral_advisor = Robert Cess
doctoral_students = Jeffrey Kiehl, V. Ramaswamy
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societies = Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences
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website = http://ramanathan.ucsd.edu/
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Veerabhadran Ramanathan is Victor Alderson Professor of Applied Ocean Sciences and director of the Center forAtmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.

In the 1990s, he led the Indian Ocean Experiment with Dr. Paul Crutzen that discovered the widespread existence of atmospheric brown clouds. [cite web |title=INDOEX - The Indian Ocean Experiment | url=http://www-indoex.ucsd.edu/ | accessdate=2008-10-10] He was elected to the United States National Academy of Science in 2002. [cite web |title=Scientist Elected to National Academy of Sciences | url=http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/4296 | accessdate=2008-10-10] Ramanathan has written that "The effect of greenhouse gases on global warming is, in my opinion, the most important environmental issue facing the world today." [cite web |title=Global Warming | url=http://www.amacad.org/publications/bulletin/spring2006/12globalwarming.pdf | accessdate=2008-10-10]

Research and Publications

Ramanathan has contributed to many areas of the atmospheric sciences. His first major findings were in the mid-1970s and were related to the greenhouse effect of CFCs and other trace gases [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | year = 1975 |title = Greenhouse Effect Due to Chlorofluorocarbons: Climatic Implications | journal = Science| volume = 190 | pages = 50-51 ] [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | coauthors ="et al." | year = 1985 | url= http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1985/JD090iD03p05547.shtml |title = Trace Gas Trends and Their Potential Role in Climate Change | journal = J. Geophys. Res.| volume = 90(D3) | pages = 5547–5566 ] Until that time, carbon dioxide was thought to be the sole greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. He also contributed to the early development of global circulation models [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | coauthors ="et al." | year = 1983 | url=http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0469(1983)040%3C0605%3ATROASG%3E2.0.CO%3B2 |title = The Response of a Spectral General Circulation Model to Refinements in Radiative Processes | journal = J. Atmos. Sci. | volume = 40 | pages = 605–630 |doi = 10.1175/1520-0469(1983)040<0605:TROASG>2.0.CO;2 ] and the detecting and attribution of climate change. [cite journal | last=Madden | first = R.A. | coauthors = V. Ramanathan | year = 1980 | http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/209/4458/763 |title = Detecting Climate Change due to Increasing Carbon Dioxide | journal = Science | volume = 209 | pages = 736-768 |doi = 10.1126/science.209.4458.763 ]

His focus then shifted to the radiative effects of clouds on the climate. This was done using the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), which showed that clouds have a large cooling effect on the planet. [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | coauthors ="et al." | year = 1989 | url=http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/243/4887/57 |title = Cloud-Radiative Forcing and Climate: Results from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment | journal = Science | volume = 243 | pages = 57–63 |doi = 10.1126/science.243.4887.57 ] [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | coauthors ="et al." | year = 1995 | url=http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/267/5197/499 |title = Warm Pool Heat Budget and Shortwave Cloud Forcing: A Missing Physics? | journal = Science | volume = 267 | pages = 499-503 |doi = 10.1126/science.267.5197.499 ] ERBE was also able to measure the greenhouse effect without the use of climate models.

Recently, he has published on the aerosol radiative properties. His work has shown that aerosols have a cooling effect on the surface of the planet, and at the top of the atmosphere, but the forcing at the top of the atmosphere was only one-third the magnitude as the surface forcing. This has implications for the hydrologic cycle. [cite journal | last=Satheesh | first = S. K. | coauthors = V. Ramanathan | year = 2000 | url=http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v405/n6782/abs/405060a0.html |title = Large differences in tropical aerosol forcing at the top of the atmosphere and Earth's surface | journal = Nature | volume = 405 | pages = 60-63 |doi = 10.1038/35011039 ] While working on the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment, he discovered that absorbing black carbonaceous aerosols have a larger influence on climate than previously thought, which led to the development of the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX). During INDOEX, Ramanathan and colleagues discovered the widespread existence of brown haze covering much of the Indian Ocean region. They found that the vast majority of the aerosols were anthropogenic in origin, and that the surface cooling caused by the aerosols is more important than the atmospheric heating. [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | coauthors = "et al." | year = 2001 | url=http://www-abc-asia.ucsd.edu/APMEX/Ram%20et%20al-INDOEX-JGR-2001.pdf |title = Indian Ocean Experiment: An integrated analysis of the climate forcing and effects of the great Indo-Asian haze | journal = J. Geophys. Res. | volume = 106 | pages = 28371–28399 ] These atmospheric brown clouds may have masked as much as 50% of the surface heating caused by the increase in CO2, and caused reduced precipitation during the Indian monsoon. [cite journal | last=Ramanathan | first = V. | coauthors ="et al." | year = 2005 | url= http://www.pnas.org/content/102/15/5326.abstract |title = Atmospheric brown clouds: Impacts on South Asian climate and hydrological cycle | journal = Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.| volume = 102 | pages = 5326–5333 |doi = 10.1073/pnas.0500656102 ]

External links

* [http://ramanathan.ucsd.edu/ Prof. V. (Ram) Ramanathan]
* [http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080511-9999-1n11rama.html Climate scientist out to change the world]
* [http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/biography/PNAS_Bio.pdf Biography of Veerabhadran Ramanathan]

References


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