India is the world’s biggest polluter with Africa next in line to take its spot

Recent data from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument shows that India is the new top polluter of the globeTROPOMI

  • India is the new top polluter producing excess amount of Nitrogen dioxide.
  • Images captured by Tropomi, a pollution tracking instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5P Satellite, show that the next generation of pollution problems might from Africa.
  • Within Europe, the Netherlands has the highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide.
India dethroned China to become the world’s biggest polluter. Africa is next in line to take the dubious spot.

Images captured by the Dutch space instrument, Tropomi, show high concentrations of pollutants like Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone and other pollutants produced by car traffic, industry and power stations in India.




"We first saw a strong increase in China, but it has leveled out because the Chinese have also taken measures. India is the new big polluter. We also expect problems in Africa in the future," Pieternel Levelt, the head of satellite observation at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), told a local newspaper AD.

Measuring the pollution

Tropomi, the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument, circles the Earth on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite.

Copernicus Sentinel-5P, launched by European Space Agency (ESA) in October 2017, is believed to be the most advanced pollution monitoring satellite in the world.

It measures the chemical composition of the troposphere — the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere between 10 to 15 kilometers above the surface.

Scientists believe this is where most air polluting substances are trapped.

Insights from Tropomi show that most of the air pollution is created from human activity.

India might top the list right now, other regions of the world are quite out of the red.

The German Ruhr area, Netherlands, Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the shipping routes of the Mediterrarean Sea are a few regions with the highest concentrations of Nitrogen dioxide in Europe.

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