Air Pollution

[pib] Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi launchedPIBPrelims Only


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Air Quality Early Warning System

Mains level: Better monitoring and control of air pollution in the national capital.



  • Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi was launched in Delhi today by the Union Minister for Earth Sciences and Environment.

Air Quality Early Warning System

  1. The System is designed to predict extreme air pollution events and give alerts to take necessary steps as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Govt. of India.
  2. The System can predict extreme air pollution events 72 hours in advance and give necessary alerts.
  3. It has been developed jointly by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
  4. The warning system consists of
  • real time observations of air quality over Delhi region and details about natural aerosols like dust (from dust storms) and particulate matter using different satellite data sets
  • Predictions of air pollutants from two different air quality prediction systems based on state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry transport models and
  • Warning Messages and Alerts and Bulletins

Improved Accuracy Model

  1. MoES has made attempts to improve accuracy of predictions models with the technical support from the NCAR, USA and Finnish Meteorological Institute.
  2. The framework typically consists of a high resolution weather prediction model with an atmospheric chemistry transport model.
  3. Both the models have data assimilation facility, which can assimilate data from satellites on dust aerosols, particulate matter from stubble burning and other air pollutants like SO2 and NO2.
  4. It will take into account the background aerosols and pollutants, long range transport of dust from dust storms and particulate matter from stubble burning.
  5. The predictions are now available up to 72 hours lead time.

Some Mitigation Measures

  1. Badarpur thermal power plan of NTPC is being shut and Western peripheral expressway is likely to become operational in the first week of November.
  2. The Union govt. has released nearly 600 crores to concerned states for in-situ management of crop-residue.
  3. A new website developed for archiving all the observational and prediction products was also launched.
  4. The website will be accessed by the officials of Environmental Pollution Authority (EPA) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for taking necessary steps depending upon the requirements.

Other Initiatives:

Mega Emission Inventory

  1. The event marked release of a mega emission inventory of Delhi which was made by scientists at IITM Pune.
  2. It is a 400 m x 400m high-resolution emission inventory of Delhi and fringe area of all eight important air pollutants (like PM2.5, PM10, NOx, CO, SO2, BC, OC and VOCs) was released.
  3. Ground level activity data about emissions from as many as 23 different sources of pollution were also collected.
  4. The emission inventory suggests that there is a substantial increase of emissions from transport and industrial sector, while the contributions from residences have shown a substantial decline.

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