NASA Reveals Why New Delhi Is Covered With Dangerous Smog And Has Pictures To Prove It

There are some things about big city living that city-goers come to accept. Things like traffic, congestion, and a Starbucks on every corner. As a result of so many people commuting to and from work in such a concentrated area, air pollution and smog are unfortunately also an accepted factor of city living. Most countries have laws in place to help decrease air pollution, but many countries, who are just getting their foot in the global industry, may still have some hard lessons to learn.

India, for example, has recently been blanketed in severe smog. New Delhi specifically is suffering from an air quality index rating of 943 AQI PM2.5, which is 15 times higher than the acceptable air quality standard put forth by the Indian government. PM describes particulate matter, which is defined as particles measuring in size of micrometers. The AQI rating describes the concentration of PM2.5 material in micrograms suspended in a cubic meter of air. This means a 943 AQI PM2.5 says that in one cubic meter of air, there are 943 micrograms of particulate matter.

Source: Mashable

This most recent smog crisis was at first blamed on celebratory firecrackers from Diwali celebrations. But, as officials continued to look into the surge of smog, that explanation seemed too simplistic. Images published by NASA are now showing that the surge in smog may be due to a traditional Indian custom of burning crops.

Farmers in neighboring provinces burning their leftover straw are resulting in high levels of, “fires and thermal anomalies,” according to NASA. Though the government has tried to deter farmers from this practice over the years, many are not ready to give it up.

Source: NASA
Source: NASA

The air quality that New Delhi is dealing with is dangerous to citizens, as the particulate matter can disturb lung function, especially for those who are already suffering from other diseases. The government is trying new practices to improve the AQI in the near future, including vacuuming the air and spraying down roads and construction sites to decrease dust.