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      On the widespread enhancement in fine particulate matter across the Indo-Gangetic Plain towards winter

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          Abstract

          Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5, aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 µm) impacts the climate, reduces visibility and severely influences human health. The Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), home to about one-seventh of the world’s total population and a hotspot of aerosol loading, observes strong enhancements in the PM 2.5 concentrations towards winter. We performed high-resolution (12 km × 12 km) atmospheric chemical transport modeling (WRF-Chem) for the post-monsoon to winter transition to unravel the underlying dynamics and influences of regional emissions over the region. Model, capturing the observed variations to an extent, reveals that the spatial distribution of PM 2.5 having patches of enhanced concentrations (≥100 µgm −3) during post-monsoon, evolves dramatically into a widespread enhancement across the IGP region during winter. A sensitivity simulation, supported by satellite observations of fires, shows that biomass-burning emissions over the northwest IGP play a crucial role during post-monsoon. Whereas, in contrast, towards winter, a large-scale decline in the air temperature, significantly shallower atmospheric boundary layer, and weaker winds lead to stagnant conditions (ventilation coefficient lower by a factor of ~4) thereby confining the anthropogenic influences closer to the surface. Such changes in the controlling processes from post-monsoon to winter transition profoundly affect the composition of the fine aerosols over the IGP region. The study highlights the need to critically consider the distinct meteorological processes of west-to-east IGP and changes in dominant sources from post-monsoon to winter in the formulation of future pollution mitigation policies.

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          Most cited references 50

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          AERONET—A Federated Instrument Network and Data Archive for Aerosol Characterization

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            Estimates of global terrestrial isoprene emissions using MEGAN (Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature)

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              The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale.

              Assessment of the global burden of disease is based on epidemiological cohort studies that connect premature mortality to a wide range of causes, including the long-term health impacts of ozone and fine particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5). It has proved difficult to quantify premature mortality related to air pollution, notably in regions where air quality is not monitored, and also because the toxicity of particles from various sources may vary. Here we use a global atmospheric chemistry model to investigate the link between premature mortality and seven emission source categories in urban and rural environments. In accord with the global burden of disease for 2010 (ref. 5), we calculate that outdoor air pollution, mostly by PM2.5, leads to 3.3 (95 per cent confidence interval 1.61-4.81) million premature deaths per year worldwide, predominantly in Asia. We primarily assume that all particles are equally toxic, but also include a sensitivity study that accounts for differential toxicity. We find that emissions from residential energy use such as heating and cooking, prevalent in India and China, have the largest impact on premature mortality globally, being even more dominant if carbonaceous particles are assumed to be most toxic. Whereas in much of the USA and in a few other countries emissions from traffic and power generation are important, in eastern USA, Europe, Russia and East Asia agricultural emissions make the largest relative contribution to PM2.5, with the estimate of overall health impact depending on assumptions regarding particle toxicity. Model projections based on a business-as-usual emission scenario indicate that the contribution of outdoor air pollution to premature mortality could double by 2050.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                ojha@prl.res.in
                s.gunthe@iitm.ac.in
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                3 April 2020
                3 April 2020
                2020
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8527 8247, GRID grid.465082.d, Space and Atmospheric Sciences division, Physical Research Laboratory, ; Ahmedabad, India
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2315 1926, GRID grid.417969.4, EWRE Division, Department of Civil Engineering, , Indian Institute of Technology Madras, ; Chennai, India
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0491 8257, GRID grid.419509.0, Atmospheric Chemistry Department, , Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, ; Mainz, Germany
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8869 5601, GRID grid.450282.9, Space Physics Laboratory, , Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ; Thiruvananthapuram, India
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8190 6402, GRID grid.9835.7, Lancaster Environment Centre, , Lancaster University, ; Lancaster, UK
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1019 6308, GRID grid.440527.0, Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciencES (ARIES), ; Nainital, India
                [7 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2157 6568, GRID grid.30064.31, Present Address: Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, , Washington State University, ; Pullman, USA
                Article
                62710
                10.1038/s41598-020-62710-8
                7125076
                32246046
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                climate change, atmospheric science, atmospheric dynamics, atmospheric chemistry

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