Air Quality Improvement in Colombo due to COVID curfews or changes in wind?

By Lareef Zubair and P. Ellegala Federation for Environment Climate and Technology Kandy Reports on drop-in Air Quality Index being due to curfew News reports, feature articles and social media posts have attributed the recent improvement in air quality to the curfews since March 20. These reports seem to follow news in locations such as Southern California or in Central China where the pollution had dropped by 70%.  However, the casual surmise that if one shuts down traffic and closes down the majority of industries and then we shall have better air quality can set us back if it is not accurate, as we shall lose sight of the role of pollution from other sources.  These  include:  Trans-boundary Pollution particularly from the Indian Sub-Continent Forest Fires, Garbage Incineration, Agricultural Residue Burning   Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Industries that continued to function    The relative contributions of these sources varies by place and time. We make us

Effect of the curfew on air quality in Colombo and Kandy

By Dr Rohan Jayaratne, Dr Gayan Bowatte and Mahesh Senarath Air Quality Monitor installed in Kandy The COVID-19 situation has affected normal activities all over the world. There are fewer motor vehicles on the roads and many factories remain shut, giving rise to significant decreases in airborne pollution. For example, Beijing has reported visible blue skies after many years. In some regions in Northern India, residents have been able to see the Himalayas from afar for the very first time. Residents in Colombo have been enjoying spectacular views of Adam’s Peak and the central hills. So, by how much have the pollution levels in Sri Lanka decreased during the recent curfew period? Air pollution occurs in the form of gases and small particles. The particle pollution in the atmosphere is generally expressed as PM2.5, which is the mass per unit volume of particulate matter on particles that are smaller than 2.5 micrometre in diameter. Normally, the PM2.5 level in the city of C

නොරොච්චෝලෙන් ඇසිඩ් වැසි එයිද?

නොරොච්චෝල  ලක්විජය ගල්අඟුරු  බලාගාරයට   විරුද්ධව  සමහර  බටහිර රටවලින් යැපෙන  රාජ්‍ය නොවන සංවිධාන වලින් කරන  අභූත චෝදනා නිමක් නෑ . බලශක්ති නැතිනම්  පරිසර   විශාරධයින් ,  ලෙස තමාම හඳුන්වා ගන්න  සමහර  පුද්ගලයින්  පොදුවේ රටේ තියෙන සැබෑ  පරිසර ප්‍රශ්න කිසිවක් ගැන කතාකරනවා පේන්න  නෑ . නමුත්  බලගාරේ වැට මායිමට වෙලා බල ඉන්නවා අළු දුවිලි පොදක්  එනකන්.  තවත් සමහරු  කිසිම විද්‍යාත්මක පදනමක් නැතිව කියනව කොළඹ විතරක්  නොවෙයි , නාවලපිටිය වගේ ප්‍රදේශවල  වායු දුෂණයට පවා ලක්විජය බලාගාරය වග කිව යුතුයි කියල. ඉතින් කොරෝනාව නිසා   කොළඹ විතරක් නෙවෙයි මුළු ලංකාවේම  රථ වාහන ධාවනය හොඳටම  අඩුවෙලා ,  වෙනත් කර්මාන්තශාලා වැහිලා තියෙත්දී , ලක්විජය බලාගාරය 900MW  පුර්ණ ක්‍රියාකාරිත්වයකින්   ක්‍රියාකරමින්,   රටේ විදුලි අවශ්‍යතාවයෙන් 50- 60% පමණ  ප්‍රමාණයක්  ලබාදෙමින් තිබුන මේ  කාල වකවානුවේදී අන්තර් ජාතික ආයතන  මගින්  අන්තර් ජාලයේ  වායු දුෂණය  පිලිබඳ  ලබාදෙන තොරතුරු   ආධාරයෙන්  රටේ වායු දුෂණය ගැන   පොඩි අධ්‍යනයක් කලා.  ඉතින්  ඒ තොරතුරු  කෙටියෙන් මෙහෙම කියන්න පුළුවන්. සමහර පරිසර ක්‍රියාකරින්  මහජනතාව , බෞද්ධයින

New Research Links Air Pollution to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates

By   Lisa Friedman Atlanta on Saturday evening. The area is likely to suffer more deaths than the adjacent Douglas County, Ga. Credit... Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images WASHINGTON — Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a  new nationwide study  that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates. In an analysis of 3,080 counties in the United States, researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that higher levels of the tiny, dangerous particles in air known as PM 2.5 were associated with higher death rates from the disease. For weeks, public health officials have surmised a link between dirty air and death or serious illness from Covid-19, which is caused by the coronavirus. The Harvard analysis is the first nationwide study to show a statistical l

Curfew brings cleaner air – and a few questions

The Sunday Times News With the pandemic having brought the country to a standstill, official indicators are that the environment is in the process of healing – but there are puzzling signs of air pollution spikes. Since March 11, the country’s Air Quality Index (AQI) has decreased to a “moderate” level, with air pollution 30 percent less compared to the same time last year, the National Building Research Organisation’s Senior Scientist, Sarath Premasiri, said. Despite the curfew, air quality is being measured through an online monitoring service, especially in Colombo, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Vavuniya, Jaffna, and Puttalam. “One of the main reasons for the reduction of air pollution is the fact that no vehicles are functioning on roads and that has created a huge impact on the AQI of Sri Lanka,” Mr. Premasiri said. Pollution levels normally decrease between May to August due to monsoonal wind speeds, he added, and this year the added benefit of lockdown conditions should

Cities, traffic, and CO2: A multidecadal assessment of trends, drivers, and scaling relationships

Conor K. Gately ,  Lucy R. Hutyra , and  Ian Sue Wing Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215 Edited by Susan Hanson, Clark University, Worcester, MA, and approved March 13, 2015 (received for review November 12, 2014) Significance We use roadway-level traffic data to construct a 33-year, high-resolution inventory of annual on-road CO 2  emissions for the United States that differs markedly from other emissions estimates. We find a highly nonlinear relationship between population density and emissions, and identify large biases in regional estimates of CO 2  from inventories that rely on population as a linear predictor of vehicle activity. Geographic differences in the density–emissions relationship suggest that “smart growth” policies to increase urban residential densities will have significantly different effects on emissions depending on local conditions, and may be most effective at low densities. Our results highlight the importance