Air pollution modeling in India: Insights from a natural experiment

In this episode we discuss air quality in India and the role of air pollution modeling with the COVID19 lockdown providing a ‘natural experiment’.

  • What has been the impact on the COVID19 lockdown on air quality in India?
  • What does good air quality mean? What are the various air quality parameters that we need to care about?
  • What are some of the sources and atmospheric processes that govern air pollution levels?
  • What is the role of air pollution modeling in understanding the air quality and what are some of the major challenges?

Our guest Sarath Guttikunda is an expert on modeling and forecasting air pollution. He is the founder and director of Urban Emissions. His interest stems from the guidance received during his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur, India, 1997) and during his Doctorate from the Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa (Iowa City, USA, 2002). He then worked as an air pollution analyst at the World Bank (Washington DC, USA). Since returning to India in 2007, he conducts air pollution research in an independent capacity at urban, regional, and global scales. He was a visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi and Bombay) between 2011-2014 and 2014-2016. In 2009, Guttikunda became part of the global TED fellows community.

The interviewer for this episode is Tanushree Ganguly. Ganguly is a policy researcher at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, India.

Episode references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna.

Podcast website: https://atmospherictales.com/