Tropospheric Ozone is increasing: Good or Bad?

As per the National Air Quality Index the Tropospheric Ozone is increasing. In this article we will discuss whether it is good or bad and all associated implications.Let’s learn.

Tropospheric Ozone is increasing: Good or Bad?

Know About National Air Quality Index (NAQI)
  • NAQI was launched in 2014 by the Union Environment Ministry to monitor the air-quality in major urban cities across the country on a real-time basis and enhance the public awareness on air pollution.
  • NAQI is developed by the Central Pollution Control Board collaborating with IIT-Kanpur.
  • Outline of NAQI is ‘One Number – One Color -One Description
  • The Air quality is measured based on eight pollutants,these are
    Particulate Matter (PM10), Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Ammonia (NH3), and Lead (Pb).
  • NAQI demonstrates six categories of air quality. These categories are Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe.

National Air Quality Index

What Is Ozone?
  • Ozone or tri-oxygen(O3) is an inorganic molecule.
  • It is a pale blue gas.
  • The gas featured with distinct pungent smell.
  • It is a green house gas i.e it warms the atmosphere.
  • Ozone is a secondary pollutant.
Types of Pollutants
Pollutants are two types i.e Primary and Secondary Pollutants.Primary pollutants are directly generated from vehicles, fossil fuel power plants, oil refineries.Primary pollutants are Carbon dioxide,Carbon monoxide,Sulphur dioxide etc and Secondary pollutants are generated from a chemical reaction of primary pollutants. Secondary pollutants include Ozone,hydrocarbons,acid rains etc
  • Depending of it’s presence Ozone can be harmful or beneficial. let’s know in details
Types of Ozone

Ozone gas ca be classified into two types depending on it’s presence over the atmospheric layer.

  • Stratospheric Ozone or Good Ozone is the Ozone present in Stratosphere.90% Ozone are found in Stratosphere.Stratospheric Ozone protects earth from Ultraviolet emission from the Sun.
  • Tropospheric Ozone or Bad Ozone is the Ozone present in Troposphere. 10% Ozone are found in Troposphere. Tropospheric Ozone causes significant damage to living organisms and plants.
Sources of Tropospheric Ozone
  • Ozone formation requires strong sunshine to fuel the chemical reaction. Let’s know how
  • Nitrogen dioxide molecules are broken down in sunlight. Free oxygen is very unstable and latches onto a molecule of Oxygen (O2). Thus Ozone is formed.

Formation of Ozone

  • Usually the ozone levels in the atmosphere reaches at its peak in mid to late afternoon, after exhaust fumes from morning rush hour.
Effects of Tropospheric Ozone
  • Tropospheric Ozone damages plants and agricultural sector.
  • Reduces photosynthesis  rate.
  • Causes chronic diseases like bronchitis and emphysema, asthma and even capable to damage lung tissue permanently.
Do You Know?
Tropospheric ozone pollution is responsible for an estimated one million premature deaths each year. Children and the elderly people get severely affected by Tropospheric ozone.
  • Significantly reduces crop productivity.

Do You Know?
Estimated global crop production losses due to ozone pollution is approximately total 79–121 million tonnes and worth USD 11–18 billion annually.
  • Negatively impacts on carbon sequestration of plants.
What Is Carbon Sequestration?
Carbon sequestration is a process of storing atmospheric carbon dioxide by plants to create a carbon sink and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Preventive Measures
  • Strategies to prevent the formation of tropospheric ozone basically involves reduction of methane production.One of the major source of methane is animal farming.Thus farm-scale anaerobic digestion to control methane emissions from livestock should be promoted.
  • Global adoption of strict guidelines, could reduce global methane emissions by as much as 40% by 2030.
  • Wastewater treatment should be upgraded.
  • Separation and treatment of biodegradable municipal waste should be carried out to convert waste into compost or bio-energy.
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