Delhi

Capital on cloud nine

Finally Delhi has some good news. The elevated toxic ozone levels in the city are going to reduce drastically by Sunday with temperature going down and partially cloudy sky predicted for the Capital.

This was confirmed by Gufran Beig, project director, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR) on Saturday.

“The weather is only going to get better with possibility of rains and thunder showers in the first week of June which will ease out the prevailing weather conditions,’’ he explained.

Mr. Beig explained that for the past 10 days Delhi has been having a dangerous mix — very high temperature, strong winds from South Eastern area, which is rich in carbon monoxide and a level of oxides of nitrogen which is optimal for the production of ozone.

What worsens the situation is the fact that Delhi’s air quality is very poor.

“There are areas in Delhi that suffer from Heat Island Effect and it has a lot to do with large amount of particulate matters (PM 2.5 being the biggest culprit),” noted the director.

“This past week — some areas of Delhi — surface ozone (8 sunlit hour average) touched as high as 120 ppb (part per billion), which is classified as poor in Air Quality Index,’’ said Mr. Beig.

SAFAR, which facilitates information on air quality, weather and radiation (ultraviolet index), operates under the aegis of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Arjuna Srinidhi, programme manager, climate change, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said: “Urban heat island effects can make ambient temperatures feel 3 to 4 degrees more than what they are. Also compared to 2010, heat wave conditions in 2015 so far have been of a shorter duration, yet with a higher death toll. This could be due to the sudden change in temperatures after a prolonged wet February and March that had kept the temperatures cool.”

She added that owing to the raised temperatures, ultra violet (UV) rays has become a serious menace for people’s health.

“Data from the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) shows that in several cities including Delhi, UV rays are above normal. IITM set up a monitoring system in Delhi two weeks ago and has found that UV rays are ranging between 6 and 9 on the UV index — this carries medium to high health risk,’’ added a release issued by CSE.

Delhiites, meanwhile, woke up to a sunny morning on Saturday with minimum temperature settling at 27.6 degrees Celsius. The skies are expected turn partly cloudy from Sunday afternoon.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 5:48:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/capital-on-cloud-nine/article7266213.ece

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