The residents of the capital city of India have to bear the brunt of the annual winter pollution. The air quality drops to such a level that the city is compared to a gas chamber! Delhi starts witnessing high levels of air pollution in late October and the contamination worsens until the end of the year. Many parts of the city experience pollution levels as high as 150 times the stipulated levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Atmospheric inversion occurs in winters. The normal conditions reverse themselves, and air near the lower atmosphere is cooler and denser. The relatively warmer air of the upper layers, hence, acts as an atmospheric lid. This lid entraps the pollutants within the cold layer and evades their atmospheric dispersion. Therefore, the vertical mixing occurs in the lower layer itself.
At constant emission rates and concentration of pollutants, the lesser the temperature, the more is the pollution.
As a result of these events, the pollution levels are lesser in summers as compared to winters, provided the spatial and meteorological remain the same. You can observe a similar effect during winter afternoons. The increase in heat levels down pollution slightly.
The early mornings and the nights are the worst. The impact of inversion is visibly evident, which is why the air quality plummets during these hours.
Yes, air pollution affects the tourism of Delhi during the worst-hit months. People avoid visiting the city during the winter months. It also affects the lives of the residents who have to alter their schedules because of the unbreathable air.
However, one of the worst incidences happened during an international cricket test match between India and Sri Lanka in December 2017. The match was stopped because many Sri Lankan players became sick. Several players experienced problems in breathing and vomited.
The Indian Medical Association expressed their concern over the unfortunate incident and insisted ICC to adopt a policy on pollution.
There are numerous reasons that make Delhi's air polluted-
• High Population Density
• North-western winds after the withdrawal of monsoon.
• Vehicular emissions
• Inert pollutants from Construction and Demolition activities
• Drift/Mist emissions from wet cooling towers
• Burning of heavy metal-rich fire crackers
• Burning of rice crop residues in the neighbouring states
• Incineration of Waste
The most important goal should be active and transparent monitoring. There should be an emphasis on making people aware about the status of the air they are breathing so that they can adopt counter-measures to protect themselves.
There should be a regulation on emissions and strict adherence to the pollution control strategies.
|AQI values||Air Quality is||health effects could be|
People are no longer exposed to any health risk.
Acceptable air quality for a healthy adults but still pose threat to sensitive individual.
Poor air quality can affect health issues such as difficulty in breathing.
Toxic air can provoke health difficulties expecially to the young kids and elderly people..
Breathing polluted AQI may lead to chronic health issues.
AQI exceeding 400 is highly unacceptable to human- can lead to premature death.
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