Emissions of gaseous pollutants, especially NO2 have increased in India over the past two decades, a researcher from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has said in a study.
Dr Sachin Ghude said, rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and traffic growth were the likely causes for the increase, adding that because of the varying consumption patterns and growth rates, the distribution of emissions varied widely across India.
As such, in order to mitigate the causes of pollution, policy makers ought to know the hardest hit regions, he said.
'Nitrous oxide emissions over India is growing at an annual rate of 5.5 percent/year and the location of emission hot spots correlates well with the location of mega thermal power plants, mega cities, urban and industrial regions,' said Dr Ghude.
'Data from the 11-year time series of GOME and SCIAMACHY provide valuable information to improve estimates of nitrogen dioxide emissions as well as to identify the source regions and to study the regional ozone chemistry in light of seasonal meteorology,' he said.
Dr. Ghude used NO2 data acquired from 1996 to 2006 by the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) instrument aboard ESA's ERS-2 satellite and the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument aboard ESA's Envisat, to identify the major NO2 hotspots, quantify the trend over major industrial zones and identify the largest contributing regions.
He presented his findings the previous week at ESRIN, the European Space Agency's Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy.