The northern part of India, adjoining the Himalaya, is considered as one of the global hot spots of pollution because of various natural and anthropogenic factors. Throughout the year, the region is affected by pollution from various sources like dust, biomass burning, industrial and vehicular pollution, and myriad other anthropogenic emissions. These sources affect the air quality and health of millions of people who live in the Indo‐Gangetic Plains. The dust storms that occur during the premonsoon months of March–June every year are one of the principal sources of pollution and originate from the source region of Arabian Peninsula and the Thar desert located in north‐western India. In the year 2018, month of May, three back‐to‐back major dust storms occurred that caused massive damage, loss of human lives, and loss to property and had an impact on air quality and human health. In this paper, we combine observations from ground stations, satellites, and radiosonde networks to assess the impact of dust events in the month of May 2018, on meteorological parameters, aerosol properties, and air quality. We observed widespread changes associated with aerosol loadings, humidity, and vertical advection patterns with displacements of major trace and greenhouse gasses. We also notice drastic changes in suspended particulate matter concentrations, all of which can have significant ramifications in terms of human health and changes in weather pattern.
Sarkar, S., Chauhan, A., Kumar, R., & Singh, R. P. (2019). Impact of deadly dust storms (May 2018) on air quality, meteorological, and atmospheric parameters over the northern parts of India. GeoHealth, 3, 67–80. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GH000170
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