Delhi Smog: Gulf Dust Storm Had a Bigger Role -Study

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Besides stubble burning, a “multi-day dust storm” in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was the main cause of Delhi’s smog between November 6 and 14, according to a study by the System of Air Quality And Weather Forecasting And Research (under the Ministry of Earth Sciences) and India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The study, released on Thursday, says that the dust storm was responsible for 40 percent of the pollution on November 8, when the average air quality index was 478, indicating “severe” levels of pollution. While stubble burning was responsible for 25 percent of the pollution, “local sources” also played a role.

If external sources had not affected air quality, the average concentration of PM 2.5 would have been about 200 micrograms per cubic metre instead of 640 micrograms per cubic metre, says the study.

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