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Dataset associated with "Outdoor air pollution in India is not only an urban problem"




David, Liji M.

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Urban outdoor air pollution in the developing world, mostly due to particulate matter with diameters smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), has been highlighted in recent years as it leads to millions of premature deaths. Outdoor air pollution has also been viewed mostly as an urban problem. We use satellite-derived demarcations to parse India's population into urban and non-urban regions (which agrees with the census data). We also use the satellite-derived surface PM2.5 levels to calculate the health impacts in the urban and non-urban regions. We show that the outdoor air pollution problem is just as severe in non-urban regions as in the urban regions of India, with implications to monitoring, regulations, health, and policy.


The AOD from three separate satellite instruments: (a) the MODIS instrument aboard Terra satellite; (b) the MODIS instrument aboard the Aqua satellite; and (c) the MISR instrument aboard the Aqua satellite were used. We used the GEOS-Chem model (version 12.0.3) at 0.25 degrees x 0.3125 degrees resolution to calculate the ratio of daily simulated surface PM2.5 to AOD. Using the relationship given by Liu et al. (see README.pdf for reference), the satellite-derived daily PM2.5 was calculated for days when there was a successful satellite AOD retrieval. The daily values were averaged to calculate the satellite-derived annual mean surface PM2.5.
Department of Atmospheric Science
Department of Chemistry

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urban and non-urban


Associated Publications

A. R. Ravishankara, L. M. David, J. R. Pierce, C. Venkataraman, Outdoor air pollution in India is not only an urban problem. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (46), 28640-28644 (2020).