Triple dip La-Nina, unorthodox circulation and unusual spin in air quality of India

Beig, Gufran and Anand, V and Korhale, N and Sobhana, SB and Harshitha, KM and Kripalani, RH (2024) Triple dip La-Nina, unorthodox circulation and unusual spin in air quality of India. Science of The Total Environment, 920.

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Abstract: The recent La-Nina phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon unusually lasted for third consecutive year, has disturbed global weather and linked to Indian monsoon. However, our understanding on the linkages of such changes to regional air quality is poor. We hereby provide a mechanism that beyond just influencing the meteorology, the interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere during the retreating phase of the La-Niña produced secondary results that significantly influenced the normal distribution of air quality over India through disturbed large-scale wind patterns. The winter of 2022–23 that coincided with retreating phase of the unprecedented triple dip La-Niña, was marred by a mysterious trend in air quality in different climatological regions of India, not observed in recent decades. The unusually worst air quality over South-Western India, whereas relatively cleaner air over the highly polluted North India, where levels of most toxic pollutant (PM2.5) deviating up to about ±30 % from earlier years. The dominance of higher northerly wind in the transport level forces influx and relatively slower winds near the surface, trapping pollutants in peninsular India, thereby notably increasing PM2.5 concentration. In contrast, too feeble western disturbances, and unique wind patterns with the absence of rain and clouds and faster ventilation led to a significant improvement in air quality in the North. The observed findings are validated by the chemical-transport model when forced with the climatology of the previous year. The novelty of present research is that it provides an association of air quality with climate change. We demonstrate that the modulated large-scale wind patterns linked to climatic changes may have far-reaching consequences even at a local scale leading to unusual changes in the distribution of air pollutants, suggesting ever-stringent emission control actions.
Item Type: Journal Paper
Subjects: School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Energy and Environment
Divisions: Schools > Natural Sciences and Engineering
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2024 05:38
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024 05:38
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