The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is tying up with US and Finland to develop new pollution-forecast system that will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at greater resolution. The new system will jointly developed with expertise from Finnish Meteorological Institute and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Currently, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), run out of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, serves as apex forecaster of pollution trends in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. It generates likely air quality profile for a day in advance, for these cities. SAFAR monitors pollutants like PM1, PM2.5, PM10, NOx (NO, NO2), CO, Ozone, SO2, BC, Methane (CH4), Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), Benzene, VOC’s, Mercury.
Recently, Union Environment Ministry also had released draft of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) that aims to improve air quality monitoring in India by increasing number of pollution monitoring stations and, incorporating it into a pollution forecast system.
New pollution-forecast system
The new system will use a different modelling approach as well as computational techniques from that employed in the SAFAR model. SAFAR will continue to be the backbone for pollution forecast but this new system will use different method of analysis for better resolution and more accurate forecasts.