Mercury (Hg) has been recognized as a global hazardous pollutant in the ecosystem. Hg involves numerous complex environmental processes in the atmosphere, aquatic and biological cycles. The Himalayan Tibetan Plateau (HTP), a vast area is one of the most remote and pristine areas in the world. It is one of the most glaciated regions outside of the Polar Regions and acts as a water tower for billions of people living downstream. Tibetan Plateau (TP) seems to be remote from the highly polluted areas. However, to the south of the HTP lies the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) in South Asia, which is characterized by one of the world most populated and polluted regions on the planet. This area is affected by severe levels of atmospheric brown clouds (ABC) over several months every year. These pollutants are not localized but can be transported to other pristine regions, including the Himalayas and the TP. The study on Hg in this region is very limited while the study on transboundary Hg transport is sparse. This research aims to monitor Hg pollutants in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and TP, by creating two transects for two different seasons. In this study, we plan to measure Hg from precipitation and TSP (Total suspended particle) in the proposed sites. Moreover, AERONET and remote sensing data such as CALIPSO and MODIS will be used along with the in-situ aerosol chemical composition data to provide better spatial coverage to address the transport of pollutants across the Himalayas.
Project • CRRP2021-12MY-Paudyal