Sources of aerosols in the central Himalayan region
Part of: GS-Prelims and Mains GS-III: Climate change
Sources: Mineral dust, biomass burning, secondary sulfate, secondary nitrate from northwest India and Pakistan, polluted cities like Delhi, the Thar Desert, and the Arabian Sea area, and long-range transported marine mixed aerosols.
- This dust transport and forest fires are the main sources of total suspended particles (TSP), particularly in pre-monsoon period (March-May) when TSP concentration peaks in the region.
- There was predominance of mineral dust in spring and summer and biomass burning and secondary sulfate in winter.
- The transported marine mixed aerosol source was mainly associated with SW monsoon air masses during the summer season.
- Carbonaceous aerosols (Organic Carbon (OC) and Elemental Carbon (EC) were the maximum in winter due to the intensification of biomass burning over the Indo Gangetic Plains and the Himalayas because of domestic heating and shallower mixing layer.
With a unique role in the Asian climate, the Himalayan region is considered a vulnerable environment. Several chemical speciation studies have been performed for carbonaceous aerosols and inorganic species over the western and central Himalayan regions during the last decade, reporting the dominance of transported aerosol plumes from the Indo-Gangetic Plains.
News Source: PIB