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Atmospheric Watch Initiative
09 August 2021 to
13 August 2021
Parth Sarathi Mahapatra & Siva Praveen Puppala
The Atmospheric Watch Initiative (AWI) focuses on monitoring emissions of key air pollutants and climate species in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The initiative conducts rigorous scientific and social analysis using multiple datasets and/or combinations of field, modelling, and remote-sensing data to address growing concerns about deteriorating air quality, impacts on ecosystems and health, changes in atmospheric heating and cooling, and changes in the strength and timing of the monsoon. These studies are critical in informing and influencing policies and mitigation strategies in the region.
Since its establishment, the AWI, in collaboration with government partners in Nepal and Bhutan (Department of Environment (DoEnv) and National Environment Commission (NEC), respectively), has set up state-of-the-art air quality monitoring stations with aerosol and trace gas measuring instruments in these countries. The National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Afghanistan is also working towards establishment of a network of air quality monitoring stations and collaborating with ICIMOD.
Currently, there are five operational ambient air quality monitoring stations in Bhutan and 13 in Nepal, with plans for expansion. It is imperative to analyse data generated from these stations to aid in proper interpretation and informed decision making. Proper analysis requires knowledge of different statistical tools and software. Therefore, in 2020, the AWI organized a basic training on data analysis to support better understanding of the air quality data generated from the stations for officials from the DoEnv, NEC, and NEPA; researchers; and representatives from knowledge institutions. Building on this training, the AWI is organizing an advanced training on the air quality data analysis on 19–23 July 2021 to further strengthen capacity and fill knowledge gaps in the analysis of air quality data. This training is aimed at fostering knowledge sharing among the HKH region’s lead governmental environmental entities and knowledge bodies.
This training is targeted at key stakeholders such as government officials and researchers to enhance their fundamental understanding of different statistical tools for the rigorous and appropriate analysis of atmospheric composition data. This will also support ICIMOD’s efforts as a regional organization to enhance data analysis capacities.
Upon completion of the training, the participants are expected to have a better understanding of atmospheric composition data analysis.
Remarks by members of DoEnv, NEC, and NEPA
Use of MS Excel to assess outliers and missing data during basic training programme
How to access and use OpenAir library in R for creating wind, pollution rose diagrams, and polar plots