Ozone, at ground zero

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT - GROUND-LEVEL

ozone pol­lu­tion has dam­aged six mil­lion tonnes of crops in In­dia in 2005, says a re­search pub­lished in Geo­phys­i­cal Re­searchLet­ters. Ground-level ozone is formed in the air due to re­ac­tions be­tween ni­tro­gen ox­ides and hy­dro­car­bon (emit­ted from ve­hi­cles and other sources) in the pres­ence of sun­light. Be­ing a strong ox­i­dant, ozone da­m­ages lungs and veg­e­ta­tion. It is also the main com­po­nent of smog. "In­dia could feed 94 mil­lion peo­ple with the lost wheat and rice crops," said Sachin Ghude, sci­en­tist at the In­dian In­sti­tute of Trop­i­cal Me­te­o­rol­ogy, Pune, and lead au­thor of the study.

MEETA AH­LAWAT / CSE

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