Monsoons are spreading pollution - Fusion - WeRIndia

Monsoons are spreading pollution to other regions

Monsoons are spreading pollution to other regions

The monsoon season is a very important time of year for India and its climate, since it drives the entire country’s agricultural system.

The monsoons are also responsible for dispersing the cloud of polluted air that resides over North India in the wintertime. For two decades, researchers could not discover how the monsoons could simply clear out these polluted brown clouds.

However, recent research has revealed that the monsoons do not make these pollution clouds disappear.

Instead, the storms simply wave the clouds to China and other Southeastern Asian countries. This, in turn, spreads the pollutive effects to those countries as well.

Above the stormy layer of air that carries the monsoons is a layer of cloud-free atmosphere known as the anti-cyclone. All monsoons come with an anti-cyclone above them, which is a larger layer.

The air currents of the monsoons draw in moisture to build their dense rain clouds. The anti-cyclone disperses air outwards, spreading out clouds and moisture over a wide area.

This means that the anti-cyclone covers a much larger area than its accompanying monsoon. It extends all the way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. This shows that anything caught up in the monsoon can spread all over the Eastern Hemisphere.

As Indian industry has developed, the country’s pollution levels have increased. Nowadays, the monsoons are picking up pollutive particles along with moisture.

Nitrogen, sulfur, and hydrogen oxides are getting caught up in the anti-cyclone. Many of these pollutants have been neutralized, either removed by natural chemicals in the anti-cyclone or washed clean in the monsoon rains.

However, the monsoon itself could receive threats. Climate change and aerosol pollution could weaken the monsoon and dampen its effectiveness in neutralizing pollutants.

Also, some pollutants escape the neutralizing chemicals in the anticyclone and travel farther up in the atmosphere.

This shows how the pollutants can spread to Southeast Asia, Africa, and even as far as North America. While India’s industrial pollution might seem like a solely local problem, this research shows that it is an issue concerning much of the outside world as well.

Image credit: Image by Simon Steinberger from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)

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