Nitrogen dioxide cloud over India and China

By RTCC Staff

Richter said the higher levels of NO2 detected over India was a concern (Source: Premshree Pillai)

Nitrogen dioxide levels have risen dramatically over India and China,  according to experts at the University of Bremen.

The good news is that levels of No2 have dropped in Europe and North America.

Speaking at an Indo-German workshop on the “challenges and opportunities in air pollution and climate change,” Andreas Richter said that the higher levels detected via satellite data of tropospheric pollution –  found in the lowest part of the atmosphere – was a concern.

He added that the increase was due to a higher level of fossil fuel usage in the countries.

“The increase in nitrogen dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas, is related to economic activities,” he said. “The sources of nitrogen dioxide include emissions from vehicles, power plants, forest fires and lightening, among others.”

“In the case of India, the rise in nitrogen dioxide is mainly due to emissions from vehicles.”

High levels of the gas has been linked to eye, nose and throat irritation, and respiratory problems, particularly amongst those who suffer from underlying conditions such as asthma.

Richter told students that the remote satellite sensing observations were a valuable tool in observing changes in troposphere pollution like nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulphur dioxide among others.

The workshop, organised by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune aimed at providing scientists and students from the two countries to meet and exchange ideas and knowledge.


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