Mumbai: Experts warn that the city may experience more days with 'poor’ and ‘very poor’ air quality, something it has seen this year in November and December, according to a study by the non-profit ASAR (Association for Socially Applicable Research).
In the past 40 days, between Nov 1 and Dec 10, Mumbai recorded as many as 22 days with the air quality index (AQI) being poor or worse. On four of these days (Dec 5, 6, 7 and 8), the AQI was in the ‘very poor’ category. In the same period in 2021, the AQI was ‘poor’ only on six days and never went into the very poor category.
From Nov 1 to Dec 10, 2021, there were 18 days when PM2.5 (particulate matter below 2.5 mg) was within the permissible limit, but this year there was just one.
There is no doubt that the rise in air pollution in Mumbai and other parts of Western India is unusual during this time frame of November and December,” Dr Gufran Beig, founder and Project Director, System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), said.
“Mumbai has been reeling under a high pollution event. The issue this year is that the poor air quality has become prolonged despite Mumbai being blessed with the sea on three sides, which usually ensures quick dispersion of air pollutants,” he added.
Dr Beig put this down to “unprecedented changes” in the weather scenario. “Owing to the La Nina phenomenon [cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific], India has been experiencing and will continue to experience more than usual cooler and extended winter,” he said.
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