"Air pollution has become India biggest challenge in the 21st century, given its wide ranging impact on human health and agricultural production. Recent studies have shown that air pollution is the fourth major cause for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for disease.
Causes of air pollution There are several factors responsible for the deterioration of air quality in any particular region; dominant among which are emissions of hazardous pollutants from scattered sources in a region. In India, one of the main contributors to poor air quality is the burning of wood, dung and other biomass for cooking and heating purposes. This exposes millions of families to high levels of particulate matter in their own dwellings. Among other major sources of pollution are the combustion of fossil fuels in the transport and industrial sectors, and the burning of waste in urban areas. These emissions alter the composition of air in the atmosphere, resulting in an adverse impact on human health. Air quality forecasts can assist the general public in coping with health problems caused by higher levels of air pollutants including particulate matter, ground level ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Loca
SAFAR is an indigenous technological initiative by the MoES for Indiaâ€™s urban centres that combines the best of weather and air pollution research to generate air quality forecast leading to preventive action for better health. In its five years of existence, SAFAR has notched up successes that have earned plaudits not only from large section of society but also from the World Meteorological Organisation.
Inputs from Gufran Beig, Project Director, and Neha S Parkhi, Sr Programme Officer, SAFAR, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, firstname.lastname@example.org