Friday, July 29, 2016

Air Quality in Delhi (daily updates)

This is modeled source contributions to the ambient particulate pollution (PM2.5) in South Delhi district (one of the 14 districts in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi). The calculations are conducted in forecast mode. More NCR district reports @ Delhi Air Quality.Info

  • TRA.PASS = pollution from passenger vehicles (2Ws, 3Ws, 4Ws, Taxis, and Buses) including vehicle exhaust and associated resuspended dust 
  • TRA.FRGT= pollution from freight vehicles (heavy and light trucks, and non-road vehicles) including vehicle exhaust and associated resuspended dust 
  • RESI = pollution from domestic cooking, space heating, water heating, and lighting 
  • IND.BK = pollution from industrial activities and brick kilns 
  • PP.GS = pollution from power plants and in-situ diesel generator sets 
  • BDY.INTRU = pollution linked to boundary conditions, in other words, pollution from outside the 80 km x 80 km modeling domain; which is calculated from a simulation over the Indian subcontinent, including the anthropogenic emissions, seasonal fires and dust events (calculated based on the most recent satellite data), and other natural sources 
  • OTHERS = pollution from open waste burning and construction dust
A number of source apportionment studies were conducted in Delhi (more in Delhi than in any of the other Indian cities). We summarized the known particulate pollution source apportionment studies, as an open article, "what's polluting Delhi's air". A snapshot of the shares from one of the studies is presented below.

The modeled particulate pollution in the forecast mode for the next three days is presented in the animation below. Similar animations and daily average concentration maps for all the criteria pollutants are available @ Delhi Air Quality Info

See what is happening at the regional scale, which is conducted as part of the all India air pollution forecasting program, hosted @ The animation below is from a WRF-CAMx simulation conducted @ 0.25x0.25 degree resolution (approximately, 25km x 25km).

The pollution patterns change every hour and every day, depending on the prevalent meteorological conditions - wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and precipitation. Under windy conditions, most of the emissions get dispersed to farther places; Under rainy conditions, most of the emissions get drained out. Want to see how the weather pattern is holding up for the next three days in Delhi. Check out @ Below is an animation of the anticipated wind speeds and wind directions from the WRF meteorological model - also used by IMD for their forecasts.

The monitoring data from the DPCC stations reported as an air quality index by AQICN is as follows for one of the stations

Mobile Pollution Monitoring in Kathmandu

The Department of Environment plans to introduce mobile air pollution monitoring service in the city within a month. The service would allow the public to contact their municipality or concerned office if they wish to have the air pollution level in their locality measured. The department informed that works on the project began a month ago, and the Kathmandu Metropolitan

With the works on installing three fixed air quality monitoring stations in Kathmandu and Kavrepalan chowk in full swing, the government started this project especially for places where fixed stations won’t be available.

The mobile van will monitor dust particle levels and levels of four air pollutant gases, and send the data in real time to the central server at the National Information Technology Centre, and a separate portal at the Department of Environment. The van will monitor levels of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and ozone in the air. A dust particulate monitoring equipment has been provided by the Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project to the department. Kathmandu Metropolitan City informed that although the decision to provide the department a van was made one-and-a-half weeks ago, the department is yet to receive it.

The department is in the process of installing 56 stations throughout the country with the help of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, and the Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project. According to the Environment Performance Index- 2016 that quantifies the environmental performance of state’s policies, Nepal ranks 149 among 180 countries.

Read the full article @ the Himalayan Times

Car License Plate in Beijing = A Golden Ticket

Beijing is one of only a handful of Chinese cities that limits car license plates by official decree. The competition for a license plate in Beijing is ferocious. In the June lottery, only about one in 725 out of the 2.7 million applicants was granted a license plate, according to official data, making the system one of the most selective in the country.

As China has urbanized and the Chinese have become more affluent, owning a car has become a way of life for many middle-class citizens. Even in Beijing, a city plagued by notorious traffic gridlock, the desire for cars remains strong.

Troubled by crowded public transportation systems, the middle class has come to associate cars with the freedom to travel. The city, with a population of about 21 million, now has 5.6 million cars, more than double what it had 10 years ago.

The glut of cars is believed to cause 31 percent of the air pollution in Beijing, according to the city’s environmental watchdog. Not only are cars clogging the city’s streets, they also encroach on public spaces like sidewalks and bike lanes because of a lack of parking.

Faced with the problems brought on by the growing number of cars, city officials decided to take action. This month, Beijing’s transportation authorities said they would keep the number of cars under 6.3 million by the end of 2020 by further tightening the annual quota for license plates. The quota this year is set at 90,000, down from 120,000 a year earlier. City officials are also considering traffic congestion fees based on driving radius and number of trips.

China is the world’s largest car market. In big cities, along with a house, a car is widely seen as a must-have before marriage. So as Mr. Li’s wedding date drew near, his patience ran out: After buying the Volkswagen in April, he drove more than 620 miles to his fiancĂ©e’s home province, Jilin in northeast China, to register his car.

Read the full article @ the New York Times

Carbon-financed Cookstove Program Failed to Deliver the Benefits in the Field

Replacing traditional cooking fires and stoves in the developing world with "cleaner" stoves is a potential strategy to reduce household air pollution that worsens climate change and is a leading global killer.

A new study by researchers from the University of British Columbia, University of Washington and elsewhere -- which measured ambient and indoor household air pollution before and after a carbon-finance-approved cookstove intervention in rural India -- found that the improvements were less than anticipated.

Actual indoor concentrations measured in the field were only moderately lower for the new stoves than for traditional stoves, according to a paper published in June in Environmental Science & Technology. The study is one of only a handful to measure on-the-ground differences from a clean cookstove project in detail, and the first to assess co-benefits from a carbon-financed cookstove intervention.

Additionally, 40 percent of families who used a more efficient wood stove as part of the intervention also elected to continue using traditional stoves, which they preferred for making staple dishes such as roti bread. That duplication erased many of the hoped-for efficiency and pollution improvements.

Read the full article @ Science Daily