Downpour brings down black carbon levels in atmosphere

Srinagar: The night long showers and snowfall in Kashmir plains has brought down the pollution levels which had touched alarming levels during the dry spell that was witnessed in the Valley over the past several months.

As per officials at Meteorological Station Srinagar, the amount of toxic Black Carbons and other pollutants has considerably came down with the rainfall and snowfall that was witnessed, especially in the plains.

“The end of dry spell has brought a relief in terms of amount of pollutants that were suspended in the air due to the absence of moisture,” said Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director Meteorological Station Srinagar.

The amount of toxic substances like that of Black Carbons was high during the dry spells, where at some instances, as per the data provided by the MetT, was touching 60 µg/m3  which was way beyond the 20 µg/m3 limit.

“With the end of dry spell, the level of toxic carbons has gone 100 percent down, and as of now, the atmosphere is clean and refreshing,” said Mukhtar Ahmad, adding it can be observed from the surroundings and air around, which is bereft of any impurity.

The data that was provided earlier by the Meteorological Centre, Srinagar, revealed that during the December 2016, the quantity of Black Carbons present in the atmosphere was 50 µg/ m3, which as per the classification of WHO on Black Carbons fall in toxic category. The levels had risen to 60 µg/ m3 in November this year.

“A brief drizzle every now and then is quite important in the region that we live in. Our topography is quite different, if there is no moisture, the pollutants emanated from the combustion get suspended in the environment,” he said.

As of now, people can heave sigh of relief, but the levels are expected to go up again, if another dry spell begins.

As per MeT, from 16 December the weather is once again expected to remain dry, which may again be pointing towards another dry spell in the offing, and which again increases the chances of the quantity of black carbons going up.

Experts, however suggest keeping a check on the burning of fossils, particularly during winters, when a mere absence of moisture can turn the situation ugly.

There are health ramifications associated with the exposure to black carbons,, “the exposure to Black Carbons leads to lung dysfunction especially in patients with a respiratory deficiency, such as asthma,” said a doctor.


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