Severe air pollution and characteristics of light-absorbing particles in a typical rural area of the Indo-Gangetic Plain
Total suspended particles (TSP) were collected in Lumbini from April 2013 to March 2016 to better understand the characteristics of carbonaceous aerosol (CA) concentrations, compositions and sources and their light absorption properties in rural region of severe polluted Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). Extremely high TSP (203.9 ± 109.6 μg m−3), organic carbon (OC 32.1 ± 21.7 μg m−3), elemental carbon (EC 6.44 ± 3.17 μg m−3) concentrations were observed in Lumbini particularly during winter and post-monsoon seasons, reflecting the combined influences of emission sources and weather conditions. SO42− (7.34 ± 4.39 μg m−3) and Ca2+ (5.46 ± 5.20 μg m−3) were the most dominant anion and cation in TSP. These components were comparable to those observed in urban areas in South and East Asia but significantly higher than those in remote regions over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, suggesting severe air pollution in the study region. Various combustion activities including industry, vehicle emission, and biomass burning are the main reasons for high pollutant concentrations. The variation of OC/EC ratio further suggested that biomass such as agro-residue burning contributed a lot for CA, particularly during the non-monsoon season. The average mass absorption cross-section of EC (MACEC) and water-soluble organic carbon (MACWSOC) were 7.58 ± 3.39 and 1.52 ± 0.41 m2 g−1, respectively, indicating that CA in Lumbini was mainly affected by local emissions. Increased biomass burning decreased MACEC; whereas, it could result in high MACWSOC during the non-monsoon season. Furthermore, dust is one important factor causing higher MACWSOC during the pre-monsoon season.
KeywordsAir pollution Organic carbon Elemental carbon Light absorption Lumbini Indo-Gangetic Plain
Lekhendra Tripathee acknowledges the Chinese Academy of Science for international Young staff support under the PIFI (2020FYC0001) program. The authors acknowledge the support provided by staffs at the Lumbini sampling site.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41705132, 41630754), the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (STEP) (2019QZKK0605), Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road (Pan-TPE) (XDA20040501), the CAS “Light of West China” program, and State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science (SKLCS-OP-2018-01). This study is part of a framework across the HTP: Atmospheric Pollution and Cryospheric Changes (APCC).
- Begam GR, Vachaspati CV, Ahammed YN, Kumar KR, Reddy RR, Sharma SK, Saxena M, Mandal TK (2017) Seasonal characteristics of water-soluble inorganic ions and carbonaceous aerosols in total suspended particulate matter at a rural semi-arid site, Kadapa (India). Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:1719–1734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bond TC, Doherty SJ, Fahey DW, Forster PM, Berntsen T, DeAngelo BJ, Flanner MG, Ghan S, Karcher B, Koch D, Kinne S, Kondo Y, Quinn PK, Sarofim MC, Schultz MG, Schulz M, Venkataraman C, Zhang H, Zhang S, Bellouin N, Guttikunda SK, Kopke PK, Jacobson MZ, Kaiser JW, Klimont Z, Lohmann U, Schwarz JP, Shindell D, Storelvmo T, Warren SG, Zender CS (2013) Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: a scientific assessment. J Geophys Res Atmos 118:5380–5552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bosch C, Andersson A, Kirillova EN, Budhavant K, Tiwari S, Praveen PS, Russell LM, Beres ND, Ramanathan V, Gustafsson Ö (2014) Source-diagnostic dual-isotope composition and optical properties of water-soluble organic carbon and elemental carbon in the South Asian outflow intercepted over the Indian Ocean. J Geophys Res Atmos 119:11743–11759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bozzetti C, El Haddad I, Salameh D, Daellenbach KR, Fermo P, Gonzalez R, Minguillón MC, Iinuma Y, Poulain L, Elser M, Müller E, Slowik JG, Jaffrezo JL, Baltensperger U, Marchand N, Prévôt ASH (2017) Organic aerosol source apportionment by offline-AMS over a full year in Marseille. Atmos Chem Phys 17(13):8247–8268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chen PF, Kang SC, Li CL, Zhang QG, Guo JM, Lekhendra T, Zhang YL, Li G, Gul C, Cong ZY, Wan X, Niu HW, Panday AK, Rupakheti M, Ji ZM (2019) Carbonaceous aerosol characteristics on the Third Pole: a primary study based on the Atmospheric Pollution and Cryospheric Change (APCC) network. Environ Pollut 253:49–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chen PF, Li CL, Kang SC, Yan FP, Zhang QG, Ji ZM, Tripathee L, Rupakheti D, Rupakheti M, Qu B, Sillanpää M (2016) Source apportionment of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Lumbini, Nepal by using the positive matrix factorization receptor model. Atmos Res 182:46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cozic J, Verheggen B, Weingartner E, Crosier J, Bower KN, Flynn M, Coe H, Henning S, Steinbacher M, Henne S, Coen MC, Petzold A, Baltensperger U (2008) Chemical composition of free tropospheric aerosol for PM1 and coarse mode at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch. Atmos Chem Phys 8:407–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Decesari S, Facchini MC, Carbone C, Giulianelli L, Rinaldi M, Finessi E, Fuzzi S, Marinoni A, Cristofanelli P, Duchi R, Bonasoni P, Vuillermoz E, Cozic J, Jaffrezo JL, Laj P (2010) Chemical composition of PM10 and PM1 at the high-altitude Himalayan station Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid (NCO-P) (5079 m a.s.l.). Atmos Chem Phys 10:4583–4596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Forouzanfar MH, Alexander L, Anderson HR, Bachman VF, Biryukov S, Brauer M, Burnett R, Casey D, Coates MM, Cohen A (2015) Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioral, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease study 2013. Lancet 386:2287–2323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kang SC, Zhang QG, Qian Y, Ji ZM, Li CL, Cong ZY, Zhang YL, Guo JM, Du WT, Huang J, You QL, Panday AK, Rupakheti M, Chen DL, Gustafsson Ö, Thiemens MH, Qin DH (2019) Linking atmospheric pollution to cryospheric change in the Third Pole Region: current progresses and future prospects. Natl Sci Rev 6:796–809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Peng JF, Hu M, Guo S, Du ZF, Zheng J, Shang DJ, Zamora ML, Zeng L, Shao M, Wu M, Zheng YS, Wang J, Glen Y, Collins CR, Molina DR, Zhang MJ, R.Y. (2016) Markedly enhanced absorption and direct radiative forcing of black carbon under polluted urban environments. PNAS U S A 113:4266–4271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Singh A, Rajput P, Sharma D, Sarin MM, Singh D (2014) Black carbon and elemental carbon from postharvest agricultural-waste burning emissions in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Adv Meteorol 2014(179301):10Google Scholar
- Stone EA, Schauer JJ, Pradhan BB, Dangol PM, Habib G, Venkataraman C, Ramanathan V (2010) Characterization of emissions from South Asian biofuels and application to source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosol in the Himalayas. J Geophys Res Atmos 115:D06301Google Scholar
- Wan X, Kang SC, Li QL, Rupakheti D, Zhang QG, Guo JM, Chen PF, Tripathee L, Rupakheti M, Panday AK, Wang W, Kawamura K, Gao SP, Wu GM, Cong ZY (2017) Organic molecular tracers in the atmospheric aerosols from Lumbini, Nepal, in the northern Indo-Gangetic Plain: influence of biomass burning. Atmos Chem Phys 17:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weber RJ, Sullivan AP, Peltier RE, Russell A, Yan B, Zheng M, de Grouw J, Warneke C, Brock C, Holloway JS, Atlas EL, Edgerton E (2007) A study of secondary organic aerosol formation in the anthropogenic influenced southeastern United States. J Geophys Res, D13302 112Google Scholar
- Wu GM, Ram K, Fu PQ, Wang W, Zhang YL, Liu XY, Stone EA, Pradhan BB, Dangol PM, Panday AK, Wan X, Bai ZP, Kang SC, Zhang QG, Cong ZY (2019) Water-soluble brown carbon in atmospheric aerosols from Godavari (Nepal), a regional representative of South Asia. Environ Sci Technol 53:3471–3479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zhang Q, Jimenez JL, Canagaratna MR, Allan JD, Coe H, Ulbrich I, Alfarra MR, Takami A, Middlebrook AM, Sun YL, Dzepina K, Dunlea E, Docherty K, DeCarlo PF, Salcedo D, Onasch T, Jayne JT, Miyoshi T, Shimono A, Hatakeyama S, Takegawa N, Kondo Y, Schneider J, Drewnick F, Borrmann S, Weimer S, Demerjian K, Williams P, Bower K, Bahreini R, Cottrell L, Griffin RJ, Rautiainen J, Sun JY, Zhang YM, Worsnop DR (2007) Ubiquity and dominance of oxygenated species in organic aerosols in anthropogenically-influenced Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. Geophys Res Lett 34:L13801Google Scholar