Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




FROTH AND BUBBLE
Air Pollution Sources And Atmosphere-Warming Particles In South Asia
by Staff Writers
Reno NV (SPX) Oct 22, 2013


Smoke from open-air burning of funeral pyres in India and Nepal is a significant regional source of carbon aerosols. Photo credit: Philip Milne.

When Rajan Chakrabarty, Ph.D., an assistant research professor at the Desert Research Institute, began looking into the regional inventories of human-produced sources of carbon aerosol pollution in South Asia, considered to be a climate change hot spot, he knew something was missing.

"Current emission inventories do not account for cultural burning practices in Asia as aerosol sources," said Chakrabarty, who is originally from the Northeastern region of India.

Teaming up with Shamsh Pervez, Ph.D., a professor of Chemistry at the Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, India and a 2011 Fulbright fellow to DRI, Chakrabarty designed and executed a comprehensive study to investigate the nature and impact of pollutant particles emitted from the widely-prevalent cultural practice of open-air funeral pyre burning in India and Nepal.

In September, Chakrabarty and his colleagues published their first findings in Environmental Science and Technology Letters - an international journal which publishes results of exceptional timeliness and high impact in all areas of environmental science.

Open-air burning of funeral pyres is an age-old and deep-rooted custom in South Asia. More than seven million pyres, each weighing around 550 kilograms, are burned every year throughout India and Nepal. In total, these pyres consume an estimated 50 to 60 million trees annually.

Chakrabarty and colleagues found to their surprise that funeral pyre emissions contain sunlight-absorbing organic carbon aerosols known as brown carbon. In the past, numerous studies have identified black carbon aerosols emitted from combustion of fossil fuels and residential biofuels as the dominant light-absorbing aerosol over South Asia.

The researchers estimate the mean light-absorbing organic aerosol mass emitted from funeral pyres to be equivalent of approximately 23 percent of the total carbonaceous aerosol mass produced by anthropogenic burning of fossil fuels, and 10 percent of biofuels in the region.

Although funeral pyres make a small contribution to carbon aerosol pollution on a global scale, the study provides the most thorough analysis yet of their emissions, commented Mark Z. Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist at Stanford University, in a recent article in Chemical and Engineering News.

Jacobson said it also highlights the regional impact of brown carbon, which is not included as a heating component in most climate models.

"Our findings underscore the importance of quantifying and characterizing region-specific, cultural combustion activities to enhance existing aerosol emission budgets and climate models," Chakrabarty said.

"The next step will be to work on quantifying the impact of pollutants emitted from the daily burning of biotic materials, such as incense, in over two million Hindu temples in India and Nepal."

The study also recommends that from a mitigation standpoint, because funeral pyres are deeply entrenched cultural practices, replacing wooden pyres with alternative and ecofriendly practices seems to be the only viable option for controlling emissions.

Letter in Environmental Science and Technology Letters here; Article from Chemical and Engineering News here.

.


Related Links
Desert Research Institute
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FROTH AND BUBBLE
Russian court brands Baikal protection group 'foreign agent'
Moscow (AFP) Oct 18, 2013
A Russian court has ordered an environmental group fighting for the protection of Lake Baikal to register as a "foreign agent" because it receives funding from abroad, Interfax reported Friday. The ruling concerns a group called the Baikal Environmental Wave, which had been seeking the closure of a paper mill that had been polluting Lake Baikal for more than four decades before it was shut d ... read more


FROTH AND BUBBLE
Search to save smallest survivors of Australia fires

Indian farmer gets one-dollar cheque in flood relief

Quake-triggered landslides pose significant hazard for Seattle

Philippine quake island officials accused of aid 'hoarding'

FROTH AND BUBBLE
NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon

NSF Awards $12 Million to SDSC to Deploy "Comet" Supercomputer

Rice scientists create a super antioxidant

Cracked metal, heal thyself

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Malaysian tribes protest mega-dam

Palestinians, Israeli discuss water in latest peace talks

Africa faces water crisis despite discovery of huge aquifers

Study puts freshwater biodiversity on the map for planners and policymakers

FROTH AND BUBBLE
New study finds unprecedented warmth in Arctic

Greenpeace urges Russia to free activists after piracy charge lifted

Russia to boycott court hearings over Greenpeace ship

Nations debate giant Antarctic ocean sanctuaries

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Targeting cancer's sweet tooth

Targeted culling of deer controls disease with little effect on hunting

New soil testing kit for third world countries

Turfgrass tested in shallow green roof substrates

FROTH AND BUBBLE
The Complicated Birth of a Volcano

Hurricane Raymond weakens off Mexico coast

Dozens flee Japan mudslide island to beat new typhoon

Over 156,000 hit in South Sudan 'disaster' floods: UN

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Political killings drive Libya toward new civil war

Mozambique leader calls for talks to end violence

Kenya police cancel summons of journalists over Westgate

Forces in 'large-scale' operation against Mali extremists: Paris

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Mysterious ancient human crossed Wallace's Line

The evolutionary benefit of human personality traits

Hitchhiking virus confirms saga of ancient human migration

Marmoset monkeys know polite conversation




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement