Ritesh Gautam

Lead Senior Scientist


Areas of expertise:
Satellite remote sensing, atmospheric aerosols, climatology, radiative forcing

Ritesh Gautam, PhD works in the Office of Chief Scientist where his current research focuses on remote sensing of methane and other pollutant emissions from oil and gas sector. Ritesh is based in EDF’s Washington DC office, and provides scientific guidance for EDF’s emerging studies on international methane emissions from global oil and gas sector, primarily using satellite observations.


Prior to joining EDF, Ritesh Gautam was an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay in the Center of Studies in Resources Engineering as well as an affiliate faculty in the Interdisciplinary Program in Climate studies. His research area experience includes atmospheric aerosols and their climate effects, remote sensing of aerosols/clouds/snow, and spatio-temporal analysis of multisensor satellite observations.

At IIT Bombay, in addition to teaching remote sensing and atmospheric science courses, he conducted atmospheric remote sensing research, and supervised doctoral and masters theses. Ritesh previously worked at the Climate and Radiation Laboratory of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for over five years, where he received the scientific leadership award. At NASA Goddard, he held a Research Scientist appointment with Universities Space Research Association, where he also conducted/participated in aerosol characterization field campaigns.

Ritesh is an author/co-author of ~30 scientific papers in peer-reviewed literature. He serves as a scientific steering group member of the Atmospheric Composition and Asian Monsoon –a joint IGAC/SPARC activity, and co-leads the working group on capacity building related to satellite and model data applications to aerosols/atmospheric composition research in Asia. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and has organized several scientific sessions related to aerosols, fog and air quality at the annual AGU fall meetings.


PhD degree in Earth System & Geoinformation Sciences from George Mason University, Virginia


Complete list of publications

Singh, M. K., R. Gautam, P. Venkatachalam, Bayesian Merging of MISR and MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth Products using Error Distributions from AERONET, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2017.2734331, 2017.

Singh, M. K., P. Venkatachalam, R. Gautam, Geostatistical methods for filling gaps in Level-3 monthly mean Aerosol Optical Depth data from Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 2017.

Gautam, R., C. K. Gatebe, M. K. Singh, T. Varnai, R. Poudyal, Radiative Characteristics of Clouds Embedded in Smoke using multiangular airborne measurements, Journal of Geophysical Research- Atmospheres, doi:10.1002/2016JD025309, 2016.

Singh, M. K., R. Gautam, C. K. Gatebe, R. Poudyal, PolarBRDF: A general purpose Python package for visualization & quantitative analysis of multi-angular remote sensing measurements, Computers and Geosciences, 96, 173-180, 2016.

Pan, X., M. Chin, R. Gautam, H. Bian, D. Kim, P. R. Colarco, T. L. Diehl, T. Takemura, L. Pozzoli, K. Tsigaridis, S. Bauer, N. Bellouin, A multi-model evaluation of aerosols over South Asia: Common problems and possible causes, Atmospheric Chemistry Physics, 15, 5903-5928, doi:10.5194/acp-15-5903-2015, 2015.

Mukhopadhyay, B., A. Khan, R. Gautam, Rising and falling river flows: Contrasting signals of climate change from the eastern and western Karakoram, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 60(12), doi: 10.1080/02626667.2014.947291, 2015.

Gautam, R., “Challenges in Early Warning of the Persistent and Widespread Winter Fog over the Indo-Gangetic Plains: A Satellite Perspective” in “Reducing Disaster: Early Warning Systems for Climate Change”, A. Singh, Z. Zommers (Eds.), pp 51-61, Springer, doi:10.1007/978-94-017-8598-3_3, 2014.

Gautam, R., N. C. Hsu, T. F. Eck, B. N. Holben, S. Janjai, T. Jantarach, S. C. Tsay, K. M. Lau, Characterization of aerosols over the Indochina peninsula from satellite-surface observations during biomass burning pre-monsoon season, Atmospheric Environment, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.05.038, 2013.

Gautam, R., N. C. Hsu, K. M. Lau, T. J. Yasunari, Satellite observations of desert dust-induced Himalayan Snow Darkening, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, doi:10.1002/grl.50226, 2013.

Tsay, S.-C. et al. (including R. Gautam), From BASE-ASIA towards 7-SEAS: A satellite-surface perspective of boreal spring biomass burning aerosols and clouds in southeast Asia, >em>Atmospheric Environment, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.12.013, 2013.

Hsu, N. C., R. Gautam, A. M. Sayer, C. Bettenhausen, C. Li, M. J. Jeong, S. C. Tsay, Global and regional trends of aerosols over land and ocean from SeaWiFS measurements from 1997 to 2010, Atmospheric Chemistry Physics, 12, 8037-8053, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-8037-2012, 2012.

Gautam, R., N. C. Hsu, S. C. Tsay, K. M. Lau, B. N. Holben, S. Bell, A. Smirnov, C. Li, R. Hansell, Q. Ji, S. Payra, D. Aryal, R. Kayastha, and K. M. Kim, Accumulation of aerosols over the Indo-Gangetic plains and southern slopes of the Himalayas: distribution, properties and radiative effects during the 2009 pre-monsoon season, Atmospheric Chemistry Physics, 11, 12841-12863, doi:10.5194/acp-11-12841-2011, 2011.

Gautam, R., N. C. Hsu, and K.-M. Lau (2010), Premonsoon aerosol characterization and radiative effects over the Indo-Gangetic Plains: Implications for regional climate warming, J. Geophysical Research, 115, D17208, doi:10.1029/2010JD013819.

Gautam, R., N. C. Hsu, K.-M. Lau, and M. Kafatos, Aerosol and Rainfall Variability over the Indian Monsoon Region: Distributions, Trends and Coupling, Annales Geophysicae, 27, 3691-3703, 2009.

Gautam, R., Z. Liu, R. P. Singh, and N. C. Hsu, Two contrasting dust-dominant periods over India observed from MODIS and CALIPSO data, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L06813, doi:10.1029/2008GL036967, 2009.

Gautam, R., N. C. Hsu, K.‐M. Lau, S.‐C. Tsay, and M. Kafatos, Enhanced pre‐monsoon warming over the Himalayan‐Gangetic region from 1979 to 2007, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L07704, doi:10.1029/2009GL037641, 2009.