As we inch closer to the end of October, the air quality in most parts of north India will begin to dip. Part of the reason is the burning of agricultural stubble that takes place in some of the major crop-growing regions in the north. The resulting smoke then finds its way to cities like New Delhi thanks to favourable wind conditions.
You can, however, keep a track of air pollution data and the AQI in your city with apps and other online tools that give real-time information, a forecast of the conditions for the coming days and other important resources on the topic.
Air Quality | AirVisual
This aesthetically pleasing app by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir is a must-have, no matter where you live. It uses small placards to present AQI data on different cities—you can also make a list of places from across the globe to monitor and compare AQI values. The app not only gives you the updated AQI, but also the latest data on temperature, windspeed and humidity levels of a specific location. You can also access all this information on IQAir’s website, which shows a live ranking of cities around the world with high air pollution. Both New Delhi and Kolkata are in this list as of 12 October.
For more information, see IQAir.com
Wind direction plays a big role in the spread of air pollution. Good wind speed would ensure that polluted air is pushed away and does not linger over a certain area. Windy is one of the most comprehensive apps to keep a track of wind data from across the world. Be it on your smartphone or desktop, Windy comes with a bunch of additional layers that show you everything from weather data to rain forecast. Windy also has its own AQI feature that shows you a live, high-resolution map of PM2.5, aerosol and NO2 across the globe.
For more information, see Windy.com
Plume Labs: Air Quality App
Plume is designed in such a way that it not only gives you live the AQI of your location—this includes data on PM2.5, PM10, ozone and NO2—but also suggests tips on the activities that you can or cannot do given the air quality around you. For instance, if the AQI in your area is worsening, the app suggests that you avoid any outdoor activities and that people in the sensitive categories—like children and the elderly—should remain indoors. Apart from useful information on the windspeed and temperature, Plume also displays AQI data from the best day of the year, the annual average and the worst (AQI) peak of the year.
For more information, see Plumelabs.com
What are the most important #AirPollution sources in Guwahati/Dispur?— Air Quality in India (@airqualityindia) October 9, 2020
According to estimates from @UrbanEmissions, traffic is a major source. More: https://t.co/XcInFn8Y9o#Guwahati #IndiaAQ pic.twitter.com/5CqXyb5IDK
This useful Twitter handle curated by air quality scientist Pallavi Pant covers is a comprehensive resource for India and air pollution. Apart from providing key updates and the latest news on AQI data, the handle is regularly updated with events and updates from researchers and organizations that are working in the area of air pollution. Another informative Twitter handle is @airsouthasia, which looks at everything about air quality in south Asia—including countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. These countries, along with India, are among the most polluted regions in south Asia.