By Alejandra Najera
Delhi residents woke up to a thick layer of ‘deadly smog’ last Tuesday morning, declaring Delhi a State of Medical Emergency.
According to BBC News, The Indian Medical Association (IMA) declared "a state of medical emergency" and urged the government to "make every possible effort to curb this menace.” The smoke has become so thick that visibility is extremely poor and the pollution levels have reached 30 times the World Health Organization's recommended limit in some areas. The national capital woke up this morning to ‘severe’ air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times according to The Times Of India. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded 'severe' air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme.
This blanket of smog was actually not “random” at all. Delhi's air quality typically worsens ahead of the onset of winter as cooler air traps pollutants near the ground, preventing them from dispersing into the atmosphere, a phenomenon known as inversion. Although inversion is the cause for trapping in the smog, the smog itself is caused by us, humans.
According to Delhi Air, air pollution in Delhi’s National Capital Region (NCR) is comprised of a complex mix of pollution from human activities such as vehicle emissions, industry, construction and residential fuel burning, as well as natural sources like dust and sea salt.
Delhi’s residents slowly have caused this blanket of smog throughout the years, how much longer does California have until we wake up in the next blanket of pollution.
Cover Photo: “A lone bird braves the heavy air in Central Delhi this morning #airqualityindex #smog #Delhi #Pollution” (@ParomaMukherjee)