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Air quality in megacity Delhi affected by countryside biomass burning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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Number of Authors: 82019 (English)In: Nature Sustainability, ISSN 2398-9629, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 200-205Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

South Asian megacities are strong sources of regional air pollution. Delhi is a key hotspot of health-and climate-impacting black carbon (BC) emissions, affecting environmental sustainability in densely populated northern India. Effective mitigation of BC impact is hampered by highly uncertain emission source estimates. Here, we use dual-carbon isotope fingerprints (delta C-13/Delta C-14) of BC to constrain the seasonal source variability in Delhi. These measurements show that lower BC concentrations in summer are predominantly from fossil fuel sources (similar to 83%). However, large-scale open burning of post-harvest crop residue/wood in nearby rural regions is contributing to severe haze pollution in Delhi during winter and autumn (similar to 42 +/- 17%). Hence, the common conception that megacities affect their surroundings is here amended or seasonally reversed. Therefore, to combat the severe air pollution problems in Delhi and the environmental quality of northern India, current urban efforts need to be complemented with countryside regional mitigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 2, no 3, p. 200-205
Keywords [en]
Green & Sustainable Science & Technology
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168413DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0219-0ISI: 000462350500013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168413DiVA, id: diva2:1313334
Available from: 2019-05-03 Created: 2019-05-03 Last updated: 2019-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Bikkina, SrinivasAndersson, AugustKirillova, Elena N.Holmstrand, HenryGustafsson, Örjan
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