RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RICE RESIDUE BURNING AND INCREASING AIR POLLUTION IN NORTH-WEST INDIA
Keywords: Rice, Residue Burning, Fire Counts, Environmental Pollution, Aerosol Optical Depth, Dust Storms
Abstract. Punjab and Haryana are two major Rice-producing states of India. They generate high amount of rice residue every year and these residues are burnt in the months of October and November to clear the fields for the next sowing, i.e. Wheat. Residue burning in these two states is considered to be a major factor for the pollution conditions persisting in Delhi, the capital of the country, during October and November. In this study, we aim to analyse the role of stubble burning on Pollution. The approach aimed at a) Determination of rice straw contingent to open burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana, b) Determine and quantify the air pollutant emissions from rice residue contingent to open burning and c) Compare them with the air pollution of Delhi. Also, in order to analyse the various reasons for the increasing pollution in Delhi, Aerosol Parameters like Aerosol Optical Depth, Angstrom Exponent and Single Scattering Albedo were also studied along with auxiliary data like Temperature, Wind Directions, Wind Trajectories, MODIS Fire Counts and CPCB Pollution Data. In this study, we found that not only residue burnings of Punjab and Haryana, but also dust storms from far beyond these states influence the pollution levels in Delhi, especially in the case of Particulate Matter less than 10.