30 Nov 2021 SAFAR
- The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) studied post-Diwali air pollution in four Indian cities (Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune).
- Three metropolitan cities Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai had higher air pollution during the Diwali period in 2021 than in 2020, while Pune was the only city out of these four where pollution levels were found to be low.
- Delhi records high PM during Diwali which is due to the effect of burning of biomass as well as high local emissions.
- SAFAR (SAFAR) is a national initiative launched by the Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) to measure the overall pollution level and air quality of a location-specific metropolitan area.
- It is an integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operating in Delhi.
- It monitors all weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and direction, ultraviolet rays and solar radiation etc.
- The World Meteorological Organization has recognized SAFAR as a prototype activity based on maintaining high quality control and standards in its implementation.
Monitoring of pollutants:
- These include PM2.5, PM10, ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), benzene, toluene, xylene and mercury.
- It is an indigenous system developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune and operated by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- IITM features a massive True Color Light Emitting Diode (LED) display which provides real time Air Quality Index (AQI) on 24×7 basis with color-coding (with 72 hours advance forecast).
- Raising awareness among the general public about the air quality of your city so that appropriate mitigation measures and systematic action can be taken.
- Helping policy makers to develop mitigation strategies keeping in mind the economic development of the country.
- This will result in cost savings in agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, disaster management, tourism, among many other sectors, which are directly or indirectly affected by air quality and weather.
Air Quality Index (AQI):
- AQI is an index for daily air quality reporting.
- It focuses on the health effects that a person can experience within hours or days of inhaling polluted air.
The AQI is calculated for eight major air pollutants:
- Ground level ozone
- Carbon Monoxide
- Sulphur dioxide
- Nitrogen dioxide
- Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in India.