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English Release 26-November 2014
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Ministry of Earth Science23-March, 2009 17:22 IST
World Meteorology Day
23rd of March is celebrated as the World Meteorological Day throughout the World. This day is of special significance to National Meteorological Services in all the countries and special programmes are organized to communicate to the public the importance of various aspects of climate and weather in our lives. This year the theme is “Weather, Climate and the Air we breathe”.

Following is the message of the Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorology Department, AVM Ajit Tyagi, on the occasion:

“The environmentalist and Medical Professionals are well aware of weather, climate, composition of air that we breathe and their effect on human health. The air we breathe is constantly changing. The urban growth, land surface modifications and population explosion are altering air composition. These changes can affect weather, climate and in turn affect our health and eco system. The size of the aerosol particles is a major factor in air pollution. The particles of size 2.5 micrometer can penetrate more through upper respiratory system and deep into the lungs. The air pollution is linked with respiratory and cardiovascular illness, cancer, nervous disorder as well as air borne disease and heat stroke. Air pollutant is inducing mucous production and irritating the pulmonary tract. The presence of benzene in the air can cause chromosomal damage and even result in leukemia. The number of people suffering from respiratory ailment is rising alarmingly in cities. Human health and safety problems caused by air pollution are increasing significantly. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that two million people die prematurely every year due to air pollution. The bacterial infection, dehydration, headache, cramps, and heat stroke are followed from heat wave. To address this threat to the society this department is providing information about conducive conditions for heat wave in a particular area. The combined effect of heat wave and air pollutant especially ozone increases mortality.. The children across India are exposed to lead poisoning even in house. As per survey conducted in Uttar Pradesh the level of air pollution has spiraled to ominous height in Lucknow.

The aerosol is solid or liquid particles suspended in air. The aerosol particles can affect the precipitation through radiative effect in the atmosphere. They can even change clouds and precipitation pattern. They can alter precipitation cycle in a particular area. Most of aerosol is in the form of haze which tends to alter amount of sun light reaching ground. Heating of atmosphere is caused by air pollutant in addition to cooling of surface. Atmosphere heating may reduce amount of low clouds by increasing evaporation of cloud top. Heating may induce rising motion and enhance low level moisture conversion. Dust transported by large scale circulation from the desert adjacent to northern India may affect the rainfall pattern in Bay of Bengal. The environment is dominated by wind blown pollutants which rise in the air that we inhale. Wind from the desert, farmland, methane from animal pastures, micro organism and bugs pick these up &transported by cloud. Nitrogen oxide & other volatile organic compounds combine with sunlight creating surface ozone which has a marked effect on respiratory system. The ground level ozone, smoke pollutants particularly Sulphur Dioxide & Carbon Monoxide are responsible for large number of deaths due to respiratory & heart diseases. Thus the wind, temperature precipitation and other meteorological factors play a leading role in air pollution. The green house gases have a warming effect and thus can exacerbate air pollution .This increases the risk of sand, dust storm, drought condition and more frequent intense flood. IMD is providing advance warning forecast for sand and dust storm in order to mitigate its effect on public. The connection between sand and dust storm are well established with air borne disease. The prediction of air pollution is a major challenge before us and the policy makers.

In addition to collaboration among member countries in field of meteorology the WMO expanded its mandate to include water and environmental issues as a result of which Environmental Meteorological Unit has been established in India Meteorological Department, Lodi Road, New Delhi. In environmental related issues IMD plays a vital role towards environmental monitoring and its safeguard INSAT imagery shows extent of sand and dust storm which carries air pollutant through a distance of kilometers from their origin. Through induction of LIDAR (Light Detection and Range System), we are able to measure vertical profile of aerosol by reflection and observation of light. Ozone measurement is also a part of IMD program. Brever spectrometer gives information about total ozone and other green house gases in atmosphere. Ozone sonde ascent provides vertical profile of ozone. IMD is monitoring environment by measurement of different elements in atmosphere at Indian Antarctic Station ‘Maitri’ also. Hazy sky condition can easily be predicted by using satellite imagery.

In India the air quality services are increasing day by day to meet environmental challenges. Timely, relevant and accurate air-quality predictions therefore contribute to protect lives and property and complement the more traditional meteorological forecasts. The Law of the land makes environmental clearances absolutely mandatory. The IMD looks at the air pollution angle in these exercises. As knowledge about a relatively new science called bio-meteorology is growing and as scenario generation of diseases and human health stresses assumes paramount importance in the climate change context, efforts are being made to establish new meteorological services in these areas. Air pollution knows no national &international boundary. The Cooperation between various agencies is essential for development of monitoring system and its prediction. Alongside effort to boost forecasting and observational capability a need exist presently for wide spread education to boost awareness of air quality.”

PRA
(Release ID :48342)

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