Title

The Delhi ‘gas chamber’: smog, air pollution and the health emergency of November 2017

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Weather

Publication Date

11-1-2018

Abstract

© 2018 Royal Meteorological Society The thick smog that blanketed India's capital, New Delhi, in early November 2017 saw air quality index values peak above 1000 – a figure in excess of three times the threshold value for ‘hazardous’ conditions. A public health emergency was declared. Delhi's smog was the result of an existing ambient urban air-pollution problem, significantly worsened by smoke blowing in from numerous agricultural fires burning across neighbouring Punjab and Haryana states. Post-summer monsoon regional air-flow patterns, decreasing autumn temperatures, high-pressure stability, temperature inversion and light local winds helped to produce climatic conditions that were conducive to smog build-up and subsequently prevented it from readily dispersing. Well-intentioned measures introduced by the authorities saw only partial improvement in city air quality after three weeks. To reduce the severity of future smog hazards, a region-wide agreement to restrict stubble burning during late autumn across northwest India will be needed.

ISSN

0043-1656

Publisher

John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Volume

73

Issue

11

First Page

348

Last Page

352

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Keywords

air quality, atmospheric pollution, health impact, public health, smog, threshold, urban atmosphere, Delhi, India, New Delhi

Scopus ID

85047664762

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

Share

COinS