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IIT Madras Study, Pollution destroying rice, wheat crops every year

March 13, 2019 7:48 PM |

Air Pollution

A study led by (IIT-Madras has revealed that about 22 million tonnes (21 percent of India’s yield) of wheat and 6.5 million tonnes of rice (6 percent of India’s yield) are being destroyed each year due to surface ozone. Moreover, the states of Punjab and Haryana have borne losses pf 16% wheat and 11% rice.

The plant damaging pollutant has caused an economic loss of 1.5 billion US dollars for rice while 5 billion USD for wheat.

Chemical reactions between primary pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight result in the generation of surface ozone. Sources include power plants, biomass burning, vehicles, as well as industries.

Specialists said the discoveries of the examination are vital in perspective on the anticipated ascent in artificial contamination, including surface ozone, with huge effect on the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) which is an essential farming area. A lessening in harvest yield in India, likewise the second-most populous nation – consequently will seriously affect its food security and economic development.

A past report evaluated losses of 15% and 6% for wheat and rice yield, dependent on estimations of surface ozone levels recorded generally in urban, rural and high altitude regions, consequently not enough accounting for ozone over rural agricultural areas which can be compensated by utilizing chemistry transport meteorological models.

The new examination ascribed the expansion in both harvest yield and monetary losses in the new study to the regional chemistry transport model WRF-Chem simulations, which calculated in varying ozone chemistry in country rural fields from urban and semi-urban observing stations.

The examination gives spatial dispersion of yield loss, which could bear some significance with established researchers not restricted to environmentalists, botanists and plant physiologists.

Wheat is a Rabi crop, which is cultivated between November and April, while rice is developed amid the Kharif season from June to October and in the Rabi season. Contrasted with wheat, crop loss for rice is less on the grounds that surface ozone levels are lower as the main harvesting period is not long after Monsoon and furthermore on the grounds that rice is generally less delicate to ozone contrasted with wheat.

In spite of the fact that there is a passable human exposure level for surface ozone set by the Central Pollution Control Board, there are no sheltered dimensions endorsed for plants.

For the investigation, the five-part group utilized WRF-Chem model to reenact blending proportions for surface ozone consistently to determine gathered ozone levels that surpass 40 sections for each billion by volume (ppbv) – additionally alluded to AOT40 – amid the Kharif and Rabi seasons crosswise over different states.

Discoveries demonstrated that a blend of higher crop production and incidental exposure to raised surface ozone levels brought about IGP area, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar and West Bengal, to endure the most extreme brunt of losses in wheat and rice yields. Among the main wheat delivering states, the most elevated harvest loss of evaluated 5.5 million tons (23%) is recorded in MP, trailed by 5 million tons (21%) in UP each year. Both these states bring about an economic loss of more than USD 1 billion each consistently.

Of the significant states – Punjab, UP, Bihar and West Bengal in the IGP region, and Orissa and Andhra Pradesh (AP) – that develop rice, Punjab brings about a most extreme loss of around 1.5 million tons (11.5%) trailed by 1 million tons (9%) in UP every year. These two states endure a yearly monetary loss of around USD 0.3 billion each.

"There is a dire need to direct key ozone perceptions, particularly over farming fields, and the improvement of yearly territorial emanation database to help approach making in India," said Gufran Beig, co-author, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. "There is likewise a requirement for forceful participation between agricultural scientists and scientists involved in studies on air pollution to complete research to create ozone-safe cultivars."

Image Credit: wikipedia

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