Delhi Smog Emergency Worsens

Anyone can post and discuss breaking science news or science-related public policy, that interests them (please respect posting guidelines and be sure to reference properly).
Forum rules
Please be sure to check our forum's Rules & Guidelines

Delhi Smog Emergency Worsens

Postby toucana on November 8th, 2017, 7:39 am 

Visitors in heavy smog at Jama Masjid mosque in central Delhi.

The Delhi government is being urged to declare a city-wide health emergency, as residents endured a third straight day of heavy pollution.

Air quality readings in India's capital have soared since Tuesday, with one monitor showing levels in the city were 969. The World Health Organization considers anything above 25 to be unsafe.

Those levels are based on the concentration of fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, per cubic meter. The microscopic particles, which are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, are considered particularly harmful because they are small enough to lodge deep into the lungs and pass into other organs, causing serious health risks.

On Wednesday, the Delhi government took the unusual step of closing all schools until Sunday, but has so far resisted calls from the Indian Medical Association to declare a public health emergency, and enact more sweeping measures, such as temporarily banning cars from the roads.

The smog has blanketed much of the city in recent days, severely reducing visibility, restricting traffic and delaying flights. Mahesh Sharma, a government minister in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has blamed the unusually high pollution levels on a lack of wind and change in humidity levels.

"Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year," Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi's chief minister, tweeted. "We have to find a solution to crop burning in adjoining states."
User avatar
Chatroom Operator
Posts: 1410
Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Location: Bristol UK
Blog: View Blog (10)

Re: Delhi Smog Emergency Worsens

Postby zetreque on November 8th, 2017, 10:29 am 

Politicians and officials blame farmers in neighboring northern Indian states who clear their fields by burning their crops. The landlocked capital sits in a natural bowl and is surrounded by industrial and agricultural hubs. Without the coastal breeze of cities such as Mumbai and Chennai, much of the pollution settles.
Every year, farmers across fertile neighboring states set fire to their fields to clear them for the next season. Known as stubble burning, millions of tons of crop residue are set alight releasing untold amounts of particulate matter into the environment.
In addition to the crop burning, Delhi's pollution comes from industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust from cars, road dust and burning of biomass, said Santosh Harish, assistant director of research at EPIC India, a research institute based in the US and India.

Make America Great Again. Bring industry back home so we have these problems here. Of course that might be the only way to force affluent Americans to be more sustainable and environmental when they purchase product, grow food, or drive vehicles. I wonder how much pesticides is in that smog.

Where I live we have this stupid practice of thinning forests and then burning it in burn piles. So in addition to the smoke coming in from other fires around the states we have high smoke levels from our own burning. Oh, but we have outlawed most types of wood burners that poor people use to heat their homes. Burn wood in the forest but outlaw it at homes. Sure makes sense to me.
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 3792
Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Location: Paradise being lost to humanity
Blog: View Blog (3)

Re: Delhi Smog Emergency Worsens

Postby TheVat on November 8th, 2017, 1:45 pm 

It never ceases to amaze me how resistant humans are to massive evidence on the minuses of burning slash and stubble. (in corn farming, it's sometimes called "stover") I lived in a town that was a center for agricultural research and innovation, and am aware how much it has been shown that plowing in organic material helps maintain healthy and productive soil, improves water retention of crops, reduces erosion, and so on. It's a win-win for everyone. The world's biggest problem remains, as ever, ignorance.
User avatar
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7210
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills

Return to Science News Discussion Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 9 guests