Related topics: air pollution · pollution

Farm fires stoke Indian capital's pollution crisis

Crackling flames and plumes of smoke rise from the earth as farmers set their fields alight in northern India—an annual post-harvest practice that shrouds New Delhi in toxic smog.

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Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index (AQI) (also known as the Air Pollution Index (API) or Pollutant Standard Index (PSI)) is a number used by government agencies to characterize the quality of the air at a given location. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects. To compute the AQI requires an air pollutant concentration from a monitor or model. The function used to convert from air pollutant concentration to AQI varies by pollutant, and is different in different countries. Air quality index values are divided into ranges, and each range is assiged a descriptor and a color code. Standardized public health advisories are associated with each AQI range. An agency might also encourage members of the public to take public transportation or work from home when AQI levels are high.

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