High attitude station in Himachal Pradesh to monitor air quality and climate system

High attitude station in Himachal Pradesh to monitor air quality and climate system

New Delhi (ISJ) ? A high altitude station set up by National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh will generate base data for atmospheric properties to serve as reference for comparison of polluted atmosphere elsewhere in India.

The station set up at the campus of Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology will monitor a number of parameters like Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ammonia, Sulpher Dioxide, Ozone, Hydrocarbon, Methane, etc. It is also equipped to measure weather parameters. �The station was formally opened on Friday (March 17). It will be remotely operated from NPL in Delhi.

?The atmospheric monitoring in Palampur at an altitude of 1391 meters will generate data about atmospheric trace pollutants and their properties, and help us generate background parameters related to atmospheric pollutants including Particulate Matter and ozone,? Dr R K Kotnala, team leader of Environmental Sciences and Biomedical Metrology Division at NPL.

In addition, this new station has the experimental facilities to investigate the aerosol/cloud interactions, and such investigations would be helpful in generating a better understanding of climate system.

?We need to establish mechanisms for certification of different equipment and methodologies used for monitoring air parameters as no such mechanism is available in the country and Indian manufacturers have to use data from agencies like US-EPA,? added Dr D K Aswal, director, NPL.

The data generated at the station will be shared with different pollution control boards and agencies in the country so that a more precise pollution mapping traceable to standard values can be done, which in turn, would assist policy decisions for the abatement of air pollutants.

At present, air quality parameters are mostly measured in industrial and residential areas for ascertaining their compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The data for air quality of pristine atmosphere is not available.

Because of Palampur?s pristine air, and the capability of the new monitoring station for detection of small amounts of pollutants, the impact of faraway pollution sources can be measured precisely. The data taken at this station during past one year shows, the pollution levels are far below the limits of NAAQS.

Sources: Press Information Bureau/India Science Wire

Image credit: Press Information Bureau

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