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Brief Profile of the Awardee


Dr S Suresh Babu

  • 2017
  • Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
  • 14/03/1976
  • Atmospheric Aerosols, Radiative forcing and Climate Impact
Award Citation:

Dr Babu has made outstanding contributions towards understanding the radiative impacts of black carbon aerosols on atmospheric stability and climate.

Academic Qualifications:
Thesis and Guide details:
Details of CSIR Fellowship/ Associateship held, if any or from other sources/ agencies.
Significant foreign assignments:
(a) Significant contributions to science and/ or technology development by the nominee based on the work done in India during most part of last 5 years:
Dr. S. Suresh Babu is the first in the country to quantify the regional radiative impacts of Black Carbon (BC) aerosols, the most strongly light absorbing aerosol species, particularly when they are present as lofted layers in the middle and upper troposphere (GRL, 2011; JGR, 2012; Tellus, 2013 and Atm.Env., 2016). Specifically, 1. He discovered (using ingenious experiments with high altitude balloons and aircrafts) layers of enhanced BC concentration in the free troposphere (4 to 9 km). The radiative forcing due to these layers dramatically reduced the environmental lapse rate and increased the atmospheric stability, thereby increasing the lifetime of BC and its atmospheric forcing. This finding has also raised new scientific issues, such as self-lifting of BC to stratosphere leading to slowing down of ozone recovery, and increased life-time favouring BC setting up ‘their homes’ in the upper layers (Babu et al., GRL, 2011, Babu et al., Atm Env., 2016). 2. Using multi-decadal aerosol optical depth data from the network of aerosol observatories (ARFINET) being operated under his guidance, he quantified the long-term trends in aerosol optical depth, its seasonality, spatial distinctiveness, possible causes and likely climate-impact indicators (Babu et al., JGR, 2013, Editor’s choice in AGU journals, highlighted in the Research Spotlight of AGU's EOS) Designing and executing thematic field experiments and establishing aerosol observatories to characterize the atmospheric aerosols is the specialty of Dr.Babu: 1. His first field experiment, aimed at quantifying the aerosol radiative forcing over an urban location using collocated measurements and delineating the role of BC in reversing the sign of the top of the atmosphere (TOA) forcing (Babu et al., GRL, 2002), was the FIRST of its kind in INDIA ( Referred even a decade after its publication, > 150 citations). He further established the importance of the mass fraction of BC to the composite aerosols in controlling atmospheric forcing efficiency (Babu et al., GRL, 2004). 2. He has established a series of observatories at high-altitude sites on the Himalayas. His studies from Hanle (Ladak region of Kashmir), the second highest altitude aerosol observatory in the world has brought out several first of their kind results. a. First regional synthesis of BC over Himalayas, delineating the seasonality and source apportionment (JGR, 2011a) b. Demonstrated the importance of aerosol induced snow albedo forcing over Himalayas and its connection with the age of the snow and its microphysics (Tellus, 2013). 3. Established aerosol observatories at both Antarctic and Arctic and showed (i) observational evidence of snow scavenging of BC (JGR, 2010, Ann. Geo, 2011) and (ii) delineated the sharp contrast between the south and north poles in terms of their purity and human intervention ( Polar Science, 2016) 4. He innovatively took up aerosol life-cycle research focusing into the new particle formation from precursors and demonstrated (i) the contrasting effects of ocean biogeochemistry and human activities leading to new particle formation over oceanic regions (JGR, 2013), and (ii) the strong solar control on the new particle formation process in the free tropospheric environment of Himalayas (JGR, 2011b).
(b) Impact of the contributions in the field concerned:
Basic understanding on the science of atmospheric aerosols and its application in climate impact assessment.
Places where work of last 5 years has been referred/ cited in Books, Reviews:
(i). Paper Cited
(ii). Book Cited
Names of the industries in which the technology (ies) has (have) been used :
The achievements already been recognised by Awards by any learned body:
The Awardee a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy/Indian Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences/Others:
The Awardee delivered invited lecture(s) in India/abroad and/or chaired any scientific Internatiional Conference Symposium:
List of Awardee's 10 most significant publications.
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications during the last 5 years
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications from out of work done in India during the last five years:
Complete list of publications in standard refereed journals:
Complete list of publications with foreign collaborators (indicating your status as author):
List of papers published in Conferences /Symposia/ Seminars, etc:
List of the most outstanding Technical Reports/ Review Articles:
Statement regarding collaboration with scientists abroad:
List of Patents taken
Total number of patents granted in last five years.
Details of Books published:

Contact Details

  • Space Physics Laboratory
    Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
    Indian Space Research Organization
    Thiruvananthapuram - 695022
    Kerala INDIA
  • 0471-2563663
  • 0471-2706535
  • s_sureshbabu[at]vssc[dot]gov[dot]in
23 Oct 2017, http://ssbprize.gov.in/Content/Detail.aspx?AID=529