Dust transport from northwest India, Pakistan and the Arabian Sea, the main sources of aerosols in the central Himalayan region | Odisha News | Latest Odisha News


New Delhi: Mineral dust, biomass burning, secondary sulphate, secondary nitrate from Northwest India and Pakistan, polluted cities like Delhi, Thar Desert and the Sea region of Arabia, and long-distance mixed marine aerosols are the main sources of aerosols in the central Himalayan region, study shows. This dust transport and forest fires are the main sources of total suspended particles (TSP), especially during the pre-monsoon period (March-May) when the concentration of TSP peaks in the region. The Air Pollution Source Distribution Study, which elucidates atmospheric chemistry, the origins of emission sources and aerosol transport pathways in the central Himalayan region, will help assess the contributions and temporal variability sources that influence the area through regional transport as well as climate impact assessment.

With a unique role in the Asian climate, the Himalayan region is considered a vulnerable environment. Several chemical speciation studies have been carried out for carbonaceous aerosols and inorganic species in the western and central Himalayan regions over the past decade, signaling the dominance of aerosol plumes transported from the Indo-Plains. gangetic. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding primary and secondary organic carbon fractions (POC, SOC), as well as a lack of statistical methods to identify and quantify the sources of air pollutants at a receiving location (receiving model) in the area. ‘Central Indian Himalayas. .

In order to solve this problem, researchers at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, with Indian and foreign collaborators, studied the chemical composition and distribution of sources of total suspended particulate matter (TSP, which includes all aerosols and air pollution) in the central region of the Himalayas. The main aerosol source regions at this remote location (Nainital) were the plains of northwest India and Pakistan, polluted cities like Delhi, the Thar Desert and the Arabian Sea region.

The study conducted by Mr. Rahul Sheoran (Ph.D. Student ARIES, Nainital, India), Dr. Umesh Chandra Dumka (Scientist, ARIES, Nainital, India), as well as the contributions of collaborators revealed that the main sources of The aerosols (factors) at Nainital were mineral dust (34%), biomass combustion (27%), secondary sulphates (20%), secondary nitrates (9%) and mixed marine aerosols transported over long distances ( 10%), showing distinct seasonal patterns. There was a predominance of mineral dust in spring and summer and combustion of biomass and secondary sulphate in winter. The source of transported mixed marine aerosols was mainly associated with the SW monsoon air masses during the summer season.

The results of the study published in the journal ‘Atmosphere show that carbonaceous aerosols (organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were at their maximum in winter due to the intensification of biomass combustion on the Indo plains. -ganetics and the Himalayas due to home heating and shallower mixing layer. The researchers also suggested a significant effect of aerosols burning biomass, while the relatively high water-soluble organic carbon and significant contributions from the combustion of the biomass, secondary or aged organic aerosols on Nainital.

“Future research should focus more on characterizing the elemental composition of aerosols for the identification of specific combustion and natural sources (eg dust, local vs. transported),” added Dr Umesh Chandra Dumka.

“These preliminary results can complement emissions inventories and contribute to an effective assessment of climate impacts on the region,” adds Mr. Rahul Sheoran.

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