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