Pollution crisis: Satellite images show Delhi’s Air Quality Index level goes beyond severe

The City Suffocates: Satellite images show the pollution as Delhi’s Air Quality goes beyond severe. The city fights to breathe.

Pollution crisis: Satellite images show Delhi’s Air Quality Index level goes beyond severe
Pollution crisis: Satellite images show Delhi’s Air Quality Index level goes beyond severe

Pollution crisis: Satellite images show Delhi’s Air Quality Index level goes beyond severe

The City Suffocates: Satellite images show the pollution as Delhi’s Air Quality level goes beyond severe. The city fights to breathe.

On November 3rd, 11 AM, the visibility was just about half a kilometre; one of the lowest in the past few days. The pollution in the city has gotten the national capital the nickname “gas chamber” as people load up on pollution masks and stay indoors.

Schools have shut down and the city might just come to a screeching halt if it keeps going the way it is. 

As political blame-game goes on between the Centre and State, the pollution levels rise to an alarming 1000+ AQI in areas of NCR region. This comes after knowing that the AQI cannot show levels beyond 999 and the pollution in the region has gone beyond index.

The satellite images released by NASA and ESA show that the stubble burning in the areas of Punjab and Haryana are the major contributors to the pollution. According to a report by Sudipta Sarkar, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA’s Aqua Satellite pinpoints that the number of fires in the indo-Gangetic region have risen by almost 300 per cent in the last two decades. 

Copernicus Sentinel imagery taken on November 2, 2019

There has been a drastic increase in the number of crop residue burnings between 21st and 29th October, leading to extreme pollution in the surrounding areas, especially NCR. 

Almost 35 per cent of the pollution in the region is contributed to the stubble burning which was complemented by the unfavourable wind directions that made it worse. 

The map (second image) shows the locations of fires detected by VIIRS during a 48-hour period from October 30 to November

Despite light showers, the air quality does not seem to be improving. It got bad to a point where flight operations were being obstructed due to low visibility. 

The forecast predicts the pollution shall remain for another four to five days before the city can breathe a whiff of relatively clean air.

Copernicus Sentinel imagery taken on October 27, 2019

Construction activities have been banned and a public health emergency has been declared in the city. 

With a safe limit of AQI 60, Delhi fights for its life at an averaged out AQI of 600+; the city struggles to breathe.

NASA satellite imagery shows stubble burning