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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Staff  /  Kavitha Mottungan

Kavitha Mottungan

Kavitha Mottungan.jpgKavitha Mottungan

Newton International Fellow
Department of Geography,
University College of London


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I pursued my PhD from the Space Physics Laboratory of VSSC (ISRO), Thiruvananthapuram India. Soon after the completion of my PhD, I got an opportunity to work as postdoctoral research associate at Chiba University, Japan and University of Arizona, USA.

My research area focuses on the distribution of the trace gases like methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and aerosol based on in-situ measurements and satellite observations. More specifically, I am interested in elucidating the utility of air quality observations (CO, NO2) especially remotely sensed retrieval products and ground based (TCCON) in disentangling the anthropogenic sources of Greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4).

Mottungan, K., Arelano, A. F., Brocchi, V., Gaubert, B., and Tang, W, (2021). Local and regional enhancements of CO, CO2 and CH4 from TCCON measurements by utilizing the synergies of air quality and greenhouse gas measurements in refining the bulk emission characteristics, Journal of Geophysical Research: Communicated.

Brocchi, V., Tang, W., Mottungan, K., Gaubert, B., and Arelano, A. F, (2021). On the emergence of a rise in anthropogenic combustion in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nature Communications: In Preparation.

Nair, P. R., and Kavitha, M., (2020). Stratospheric distribution of methane over a tropical region as observed by MIPAS onboard ENVISAT. International Journal of Remote Sensing:

Kavitha, M., and Nair, P. R., (2019). Satellite-retrieved vertical profiles of methane over Indian   region: Impact of synoptic scale meteorology. International Journal of Remote Sensing: 40, 5585-5616, doi: 10.1080/01431161.2019.1580791

Kavitha, M., Nair, P. R., and Renju, R., (2018). Thunderstorm induced changes in near- surface O3, NOx and CH4 and associated boundary layer meteorology over a tropical coastal station. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics: 179, 261-272,

Kavitha, M., Nair, P. R., Girach, I. A., Aneesh, S., Sijikumar, S., and Renju, R., (2018). Diurnal and seasonal variations in surface methane at a tropical coastal station: Role of boundary layer meteorology. Science of the Total Environment: 631, 1472-1485,

Nair, P. R., Revathy, S. A., David, L. M., Girach, I. A., and Kavitha, M., (2018). Decadal changes in surface ozone at the tropical station Thiruvananthapuram (8.542° N, 76.858° E), India: effects of anthropogenic activities and meteorological variability. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25, 14827-14843,

Kavitha, M., and Nair, P. R., (2017). SCIAMACHY observed changes in the column mixing ratio of methane over the Indian region and a comparison with global scenario. Atmos. Environ: 166, 454-466,

Kavitha, M., and Nair, P. R., (2016). Non-homogeneous vertical distribution of methane over Indian region using surface, aircraft and satellite-based data. Atmos. Environ: 141, 174-185, doi:

Kavitha, M., and Nair, P. R., (2016). Region-dependent seasonal pattern of methane over Indian region as observed by SCIAMACHY. Atmos. Environ: 131, 316-325, doi:

Spatio-temporal distribution of pollutants and precursors over India: Air pollutant emissions in India lead to severe air quality degradation that has adverse effects on human health and the environment. It is essential to obtain accurate estimates of the emission of these pollutants and understand the influence of variability associated to meteorology or dynamics. The main objective of this work is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the pollutant precursors and transport pathways and mechanism over India using the observations from multiple space-based platforms (TROPOMI, IASI) and mechanistic information from the chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem).

Funding: Royal Society, UK

Advisor: Dr. Eloise Marais, Associate Professor in Physical Geography