- Press Release Distribution

Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR

Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR
( A group of international collaborators led by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) team performed the first quantitative study of air pollution in the north-western India region using 29 low-cost and reliable instruments, demonstrating the advantages of source region observations to link crop residue burning (CRB) and air pollution at local to regional scales. 

Exposure to particulate matter less than 2.5 µm in diameter (popularly known as PM2.5) causes health hazards in cities and major emission regions of the world. Although the major sources of PM2.5 are industrial, agricultural practices contribute to the fine particle emission and formation in certain seasons. The CRB, occurring immediately after the paddy harvest in the post-monsoon (September-November), is a common practice in Punjab, Haryana and part of Indo-Gangetic Plain (Photo 1). The CRB activities have increased in the past two decades, following the introduction of mechanized agriculture in the 1990s and delayed rice planting in Punjab and Haryana following the Preservation of Subsoil Water Act (2009).  

Although the role of CRB in Punjab and Haryana on severe air pollution in the megacity Delhi national capital region (NCR)(Photo 2) has been in the news since the mid-2010s, no measurements of PM2.5 in the source regions have been conducted. An intensive field campaign involving the states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi NCR was conducted from September 1 to November 30 in 2022 using 29 Compact and Useful PM2.5 Instruments with Gas sensors (CUPI-Gs) (Figure 1).  

Continuous observations show that the PM2.5 in the region increased gradually from less than 60 µg m-3 in 6-10 October to up to 500 µg m-3 on 5-9 November, which subsequently decreased to about 100 µg m-3 in 20-30 November. The Indian national air quality standard for PM2.5 are 40 and 60 µg m-3 for annual and 24-hour exposure, respectively. Our measurements show PM2.5 values in the Punjab to Delhi NCR remained over 60 µg m-3 from mid-October to the end of November and crossed over 200 µg m-3 for the first two weeks of November at many sites. Two distinct CRB plumes of PM2.5 over 500 µg m-3 are tracked from Punjab to Delhi NCR via Haryana on 2-3 and 9-11 in November 2022 associated with the northwesterly monsoon. Higher concentrations observed in the southeast downwind regions indicate the presence of secondary formation (gas to particle conversion in the atmosphere due to chemical reactions). The experimental campaign demonstrates the advantages of source region observations to link CRB and air pollution at local to regional scales. 

“Reduction of air pollutants is possible with public awareness when implemented effectively. After all maximum sufferers reside where air pollutants are emitted (unlike the worldwide impacts of long-lived greenhouse gases),” says Prof. Prabir K. Patra, current leader of the Aakash Project at RIHN and principal scientist at Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).  

“Within a limited budget, detailed behavior of air pollutants over a wide area from Punjab to Delhi NCR were obtained with the development of CUPI-G, and these are being used for measurement of air pollution in various other parts of Asia,” says Professor Emeritus Yutaka Matsumi, of the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research at Nagoya University. The sensors are developed by Panasonic Corporation and members of Nagoya University. “Let our efforts to build a greener and cleaner future be guided by the precision of low-cost PM2.5 monitoring, leading to cleaner air and a healthier livelihood for both rural and urban citizens,” says Professor Manpreet Singh Bhatti at the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University. 

There are many other environmental impacts of air pollution. Pollutants from CRB contain large amounts of light-absorbing aerosols, which can modify the thermodynamics of our atmosphere as well as cloud properties. “High-quality data obtained from a dense measurement network has a great potential to address these issues by combining multiple data streams and numerical models,” says Dr. Pradeep Khatri, a researcher at Tohoku University.  

Prof. Sachiko Hayashida (RIHN), the former project leader and who supervised the measurement campaign says, "We hope future Japan-India collaboration helps to reduce serious air pollution in this area. Aakash Project is also working with Indian researchers on the ways to improve straw management without burning.” 

This research is conducted as part of the Aakash Project * (Project No. 14200133) of RIHN. The intensive field campaign of 2022 was conducted with support from the Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT), India.  

The measurement data of PM2.5 are made available from the RIHN database with open data sharing policy (  

* Aakash Project: the project is exploring ways to shift people's behavior to sustainable agriculture in the Punjab region to reduce the health hazards caused by air pollution, by clarifying scientifically the relationship between straw burning and local air pollution; raising awareness of the importance of maintaining clean air among residents by holding health classes and conducting health checkups; and working to propose effective ways to use rice straw. 


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR 2 Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR 3


Next-generation printing: precise and direct, using optical vortices

Next-generation printing: precise and direct, using optical vortices
Osaka, Japan – Will printed photographs ever match the precision of a mirror's reflection? Even though the answer may still be no for a while, Osaka Metropolitan University scientists have made significant strides in precision printing with their innovative optical vortex laser-based technique that allows for the precise placement of minuscule droplets with micrometer-scale accuracy. Inkjet technology is a well-known printing technique that emits microdroplets from a nozzle directly onto a surface. However, when the ink droplets are viscous, with high density, ...

Pharmacists can improve access to life-saving vaccines

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is also the leading cause of cervical cancer. Over 1,400 Canadian women are affected yearly, with almost 400 deaths, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. It is completely preventable with the HPV vaccine, and yet, unfortunately, many people are unvaccinated. University of Waterloo researchers have found a possible solution to this on-going issues. Using an electronic questionnaire at the time of appointment scheduling for seasonal influenza or COVID-19 vaccines, researchers have found, is a quick and efficient way to identify people in Ontario willing to receive additional life-saving vaccines.  “This ...

Researchers studied thousands of fertility attempts hoping to improve IVF

Researchers studied thousands of fertility attempts hoping to improve IVF
By genetically testing nearly one thousand embryos, scientists have provided the most detailed analysis of embryo fate following human in vitro fertilization. Nearly half the embryos studied underwent developmental arrest   because of genetic mishaps in early development — a revealing insight that suggests more IVF babies could come to term with changes in the fertility treatment process. The unique combination of data from arrested embryos also sheds new light on the still largely mysterious earliest stages of pregnancy through natural ...

Precision medicine navigators increase genomic testing rates for Black patients with prostate cancer

SAN DIEGO, October 1, 2023 — The presence of a clinical navigator to act as a liaison between people with prostate cancer and the health care system greatly increases the likelihood that patients, especially Black patients, will receive advanced testing that can help predict the severity of their disease and guide treatment, a new study suggests. The study showed patients seen by a precision medicine navigator were substantially more likely to receive genomic testing than those not seen by the navigator. Black patients, whose genomic testing rates traditionally ...

Play in early childhood helps build a better brain, says leading expert

Dr Jacqueline Harding, director of Tomorrow’s Child and an early childhood expert at Middlesex University, argues that the young child’s brain is inherently designed to be playful and this is crucial for its development. In her new book, The Brain that Loves to Play, she challenges the traditional division between play and learning, emphasizing the essential role of play in early years education and holistic child development. With a renewed vision for the fusion of play and learning, the book aims to contribute to the ...

Faith primary schools admitting fewer children with special educational needs

Faith primary schools are admitting fewer children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) than local authority community primaries, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In research funded by the British Academy, Dr Tammy Campbell analysed Reception year admissions to mainstream state schools from 2010-2020 in England using the National Pupil Database census.  She concluded that many faith primary schools ‘serve as hubs of relative advantage, seeming disproportionately to serve ...

Food insecurity doubles rate of severe hypoglycaemia in adults with diabetes

New research being presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg, Germany (2-6 Oct) has found that severe hypoglycaemia is more than twice as common among adults with diabetes who struggle to afford food. Severe hypoglycaemia occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels fall to such an extent that it can cause loss of consciousness, seizures, coma and, in rare cases, death. Severe hypoglycaemia is rare in people with diabetes unless they are taking insulin or secretagogues – two commonly prescribed ...

Breastfeeding is associated with lower levels of body fat at the age of nine

New research being presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg, Germany (2-6 Oct) has linked infant formula and the early introduction of fizzy drinks with higher levels of body fat later in childhood.   Youngsters who were breastfed for at least six months or longer had a lower percentage of body fat by age nine compared to those who did not receive breast milk for six months (a group that includes children who were never breastfed or received breast milk for less than 6 months).   Children ...

Exposure to daylight rather than artificial light improves blood sugar control and nutrient use in individuals with type 2 diabetes, small Dutch study finds

Exposure to natural light could help treat and prevent type 2 diabetes, new research being presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg, Germany (2-6 Oct), suggests. “The misalignment of our internal circadian clock with the demands of a 24/7 society is associated with an increased incidence of metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes,” says Ivo Habets, of Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, who co-led the research.  “Natural daylight is the strongest zeitgeber, or environmental cue, of the circadian ...

Shorter course of radiation therapy is safe for patients with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone mastectomy and reconstruction

Boston – Researchers at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center have found that a shorter course of radiation therapy after mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery provides the same protection against breast cancer recurrence and equivalent physical side-effects but substantially reduces life disruption and financial burden for patients. The results of the multicenter randomized clinical trial – the FABREC Study (Hypofractionated versus Conventionally Fractionated Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy After Implant-Based Reconstruction) – were presented ...


Properties of new materials for microchips can now be measured well

Maltreated children are three times more likely to develop substance use disorders in adulthood

Two U professors selected as AAAS fellows

Dana-Farber Chief Scientific Officer, Kevin Haigis, PhD, elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Siblings with unique genetic change help scientists progress drug search for type 1 diabetes

Four MD Anderson researchers elected AAAS Fellows

Computational biology pioneer Katie Pollard elected as AAAS fellow

New “window-of-opportunity” clinical trials explore cutting-edge treatments for cancers of the liver, head and neck

Can bismuth prevent oil leaks – (and save Norwegians billions)?

Atmospheric isotopes reveal 4.5 billion years of volcanism on Jupiter’s moon Io

An ink for 3D-printing flexible devices without mechanical joints

Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS) 46th Annual Meeting

How the Birmingham Drug Discovery Hub created an investment-ready ‘drug library’

Scientists uncover 95 regions of the genome linked to PTSD

AI tool predicts responses to cancer therapy using information from each cell of the tumor

CEOs’ human concern translates into higher stock price

Smoking-related deaths could be reduced if people attending lung cancer screening are offered stop-smoking support

Quick decisions in soccer enhanced by brain’s ability to suppress actions

Recycling CFRP waste is a challenge, but we've found a way to make it work

Advanced nuclear magnetic resonance technique developed to reveal precise structural and dynamical details in zeolites

Advancing performance assessment of a spectral beam splitting hybrid PV/T system with water-based SiO2 nanofluid

Researchers realize target protein stability analysis by time-resolved ultraviolet photodissociation mass spectrometry

Oxygen vacancies mediated ultrathin Bi4O5Br2 nanosheets as efficient piezocatalyst for synthesis of H2O2 from pure water

Warming and exogenous organic matter input affected temperature sensitivity and microbial carbon use efficiency of agricultural soil respiration on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Eco-friendly glue designed by Cal Poly, Geisys Ventures team earns industry 'Innovation Award'

From dreams to reality: unveiling the ideal in situ construction method for lunar habitats and paving the way to Moon colonization

From theory to practice: Study demonstrates high CO2 storage efficiency in shale reservoirs using fracturing technology

What women want: Female experiences to manage pelvic pain

Study finds ChatGPT shows promise as medication management tool, could help improve geriatric health care

Heart failure, not stroke is the most common complication of atrial fibrillation

[] Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR