Air pollution in parts of central-western India and north India increased during the pandemic in contrast to the general trend

What is the News?

According to a study, reduction in economic activities during the pandemic-related lockdown had resulted in a decrease in air pollution in most parts of India but central-western and northern India recorded an increase in pollution. 

About the Study

The study was conducted by scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).

Read more: ARIES Tracked “Supernova explosion” in Wolf–Rayet stars

Purpose: To understand the impact of reduction of economic activities during the pandemic-related lockdown on air pollution.

The study utilized the EUMETSAT and NASA satellite observations for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

What are the key findings of the study?

​​Reduction of economic activities during the pandemic-related lockdown had resulted in a decrease in air pollution (toxic trace gases, — ozone, NO2, and carbon monoxide) in most parts of India.

However, some regions like western-central India, Northern India showed an increase in ozone and other toxic gases. This could have aggravated respiratory health risks around those regions during the pandemic.

Why did Ozone increase during the pandemic induced lockdown?

Ozone is not directly emitted by any source but is formed by photochemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and gases in the air under the influence of sunlight and heat.

A decrease in these gases could also lead to enhancement of ozone, depending upon the chemical environment.

Moreover, ozone concentrations are also altered via ambient meteorology and dynamics, including the downward transport of ozone-rich air from the stratosphere to the troposphere.

What is the significance of this study?

This study helped to identify the regions prone to higher air pollution exposure. Hence, it can help to identify areas at a greater health risk. 

Source: This post is based on the articleAir pollution in parts of central-western India and north India increased during the pandemic in contrast to the general trend published in PIB on 27th Dec 2021.

Print Friendly and PDF