The high al­ti­tude air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem in­stalled to mon­i­tor air qual­ity

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

Though, the coun­try’s air qual­ity seems very clean how­ever, due to the de­vel­op­ment of coun­try, the qual­ity of air get­ting con­tam­i­nated with emis­sion of black car­bon.

To mon­i­tor the high al­ti­tude air qual­ity, In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for In­te­grated Moun­tain De­vel­op­ment (ICIMOD) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with min­istry of agri­cul­ture and for­est (MoAF) had in­stalled high al­ti­tude air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem in Chele La last Tues­day.

A se­nior at­mo­spheric sci­en­tist with ICIMOD Ar­nico Pan­day said that it’s a part of bor­der net­work of at­mo­spheric mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem which ICIMOD is do­ing to­gether with Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Com­mis­sion (NEC), which is the high­est ob­ser­va­tory sta­tion set up so far.

“We have sta­tion in Pasakha in Phunet­shol­ing and other at Gedu and also in Thim­phu.”

He said that the one which is in Chele La is to un­der­stand the im­pu­ri­ties of air qual­ity at high al­ti­tude which generally not car­ry­ing a lot of pol­lu­tant from lo­cal sources but catches broader level in­flow to­wards the high moun­tain ar­eas of Bhutan.

He said that Chele La it­self is another view of Moun­tain Jo­mol­hari and places where catches the same air masses which are the snow mass of Jo­mol­hari Moun­tain.

“Ini­tially with­out hav­ing elec­tric­ity sup­ply at the sta­tions, just us­ing so­lar pan­els, we mea­sure all the metro­log­i­cal pa­ram­e­ters and also mea­sure the black car­bon.”

Ar­nico said that “Black car­bon is very fine solid par­ti­cles, part of the smoke that comes out of the diesel ve­hi­cles, some are from fires.”

He added that it warms the at­mo­spheric that con­trib­utes to global warm­ing and it has also di­rect im­pact to melt­ing snow and ice and also to hu­man health.

Ba­si­cally the im­pact of at­mo­spheric change in the Hi­malayan re­gion, as it is a frag­ile re­gion, frag­ile ecosys­tem, wa­ter re­sources and the at­mo­spheric has been chang­ing rapidly.

“We will have global warm­ing, chang­ing of rain­fall pat­tern, snow­fall and more floods.”

He said that some of the Hi­malaya re­gion stretches from Pak­istan to In­dia which is a home to very large num­ber of peo­ples. And their ac­tiv­i­ties con­trib­uted to lots of smoke into the air that travel up in to the moun­tain.

He cited an ex­am­ple that when we look from Gedu to Phuentshol­ing town, he said that we don’t see clearly which shows that some of the air comes up into the moun­tain.

“Our in­ter­est in part­ner­ship with the NEC is to un­der­stand the im­pact of at­mo­spheric change over the Hi­malayan re­gion.”

The black car­bon, it’s not just af­fect vis­i­bil­ity, it also af­fect out health, crop pro­duc­tiv­ity and temperature, added Ar­nico.

The emis­sion of black car­bon is not only gen­er­ated within Bhutan, it can trans­fer more than 2000 km of dis­tance.

Ar­nico added that the black car­bon you get from Chele La is not nec­es­sary from Bhutanese sources, it also from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries.

The pur­pose of the sta­tion is not just to mea­sure black car­bon, but it also to es­tab­lish for the long run ob­ser­va­tory site.

It will also iden­tify the sources and the quan­tity of black car­bon and then could ad­dress those sources.

Mean­while, Sec­re­tary of min­istry of agri­cul­ture and for­est, Rinzin Dorji said that it is one of the pro­grams for ICIMOD in terms of at­mos­phere. While talk­ing about the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion; there­fore, we need to have sys­tem of mea­sure­ment and if there is any pol­lu­tion, then we will be able to know whether the qual­ity is good or bad.

“Once we have this kind of mea­sure­ment sys­tem or data, then it will be eas­ier for the pol­icy maker to take decision as what we should be do­ing for the mit­i­ga­tion,” added the Sec­re­tary.

16 May 2018: Her Majesty The Gyalt­suen re­ceived the Zhung Drat­shang at the Lingkana Palace. The cen­tral monk body moved to Thim­phu, their sum­mer res­i­dence, from Pu­nakha to­day.

Bhutan and ICIMOD en­joy very spe­cial part­ner­ships and Part­ner’s Day pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to bring to­gether part­ners to show­case their work, ex­em­pli­fy­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to re­spond to de­vel­op­ment chal­lenges.

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