HYDERABAD: Winters are becoming hazy in Hyderabad and other parts of Central India, at a rate faster than even in cities like New Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and other highly-polluted cities in North India, located in the Indo-Gangetic plain. This finding has been reported by researchers from the University of Hyderabad.
The researchers point out that the number of hazy days over Central India has been increasing at a rate of 2.6 days per year, as compared to only 1.7 days per year over the Indo-Gangetic plain.
They also pointed out that this results in a two-fold increase in atmospheric warming over central India as compared to the Indo-Gangetic plain.
This is an indication of the rapidly-rising levels of air pollution, as the hazy days are due to the increasing concentration of aerosol in the air, as fine particles emitted due to natural and man-made activities get suspended in the air. The researchers said their finding underlines the significance of increasing biomass burning.
Forest fires frequent in Telangana as well
The study was conducted by a team of researchers headed by Dr Vijay Kanawade of the Centre for Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) in UoH and includes PhD scholar Abin Thomas.
The researchers mention in their study that: “It should be noted that forests, shrubs, and cropland contributes to a large fraction of the land cover over Central India.
As a result, the biomass burning activities peak within Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, accounting for about 36 per cent of the total fire counts in India. Besides, the Eastern Ghats in Central Eastern India is a dense active fire hotspot, owing to shifting cultivation practices and clearing of mixed deciduous forest in the late winter season.”
Forest fires occur frequently in Telangana as well. As many as 13,259 forest fire incidents were recorded this year from January to May.
Shows the significance of forest fires
The researchers point out in their study that their finding underlines the significance of increasing biomass burning in the region, mainly forest fires. The black carbon emitted from forest fires contributes to a rise in aerosol concentration.