A look at paddy crop residue burning updates

NASA images show how smoke emanating from paddy residue burning is contributing to air pollution

By Polash Mukerjee
Published: Friday 13 November 2015

As per the NASA images pasted below, we are currently in the peak period of the paddy burning season. These satellite images taken by the NASA EOSDIS (Earth Observation Satellite Data and Information System) capture the ongoing paddy burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana.

The image taken over both Punjab and Haryana on November 6 shows paddy burning incidents. Each red dot indicates large-scale crop residue burning over an area of 1 sq km

This image taken over Punjab and Haryana on November 6 shows the extent of paddy burning. Each red dot indicates large-scale crop residue burning over an area of 1 sq km.

The image shows the following things:

  • Smog clearly visible over north India
  • Increased number of red dots (this indicates that the peak burning season is in the first two weeks of November, subject to weather patterns)
  • Highlighted sections show that Punjab is the main contributor to crop burning

This image taken on November 10 shows smog clearly visible over north India

This image taken on November 11, the day of Diwali, shows smoke rising from field fires in Punjab

The image shows the following:

  • The smoke emanating as a result of paddy burning is seen moving in the south-east direction towards Delhi, leaving behind a smog cover over the entire region

Satellite data and remote sensing technology clearly show that the issue of crop residue burning is continuing unabated in Punjab and Haryana. Of the two states, Punjab has been identified as the major offender. Favourable climatic conditions and wind speed have further helped deflect some of the pollutants released by firecrackers away from Delhi. But by taking a look around us, one can see that the air quality indicators show that the smog is back.

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