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Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX)

Regional consequences of global warming depend critically on the potentially large cooling effect of another pollutant, known as aerosols. These tiny particles, of about a millionth of a centimeter or smaller in diameter, scatter sunlight back to space and cause a regional cooling effect. These aerosols consisting of sulfates, soot, organic carbon and mineral dust are produced both naturally and by human activities.

Results of numerous global warming models suggest that the aerosol cooling is one of the largest, if not the largest, sources of uncertainty in predicting future climate. Still, the complex influence of aerosol cooling on global warming is not clearly understood. This issue will remain a mystery unless field experiments, such as the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX), are undertaken to collect in-situ data on the regional cooling effect of sulfate and other aerosols.

INDOEX addresses questions of climate change that are of high priority and great value to the US and the international community. The project’s goal is to study natural and anthropogenic climate forcing by aerosols and feedbacks on regional and global climate. This issue is at the core of the International Global Change Research Program and has been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a major gap in the science of climate change prediction.

Premier environmental scientists, universities and national laboratories from the US, Europe and Indian Ocean region are committed to INDOEX through the support of their national global change research programs. In the US, the National Science Foundation is the primary sponsor.


V. Ramanathan
Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography University of California San Diego


ALMD (IPSL Ecole Polytechnqiue-Palaiseau)

Center for Clouds, Chemistry and Climate SCRIPPS Institution for Oceanography University of California San Diego

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