Recent crop harvesting practices use mechanical harvesters in the rice and wheat farm system in India. These practices leave behind large quantities of crop residue in the field. However, there is no suitable method available for managing the crop residues. Crop residues / biomass burning are cheap and easiest method to dispose the leftover crop residues (wheat, rice, sugarcane etc.) after harvesting, for land clearing and pest control. Burning of crop residues is a common approach to eliminate waste after harvesting all over the world. Burning of these residues emit gases like sulphur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), methane (CH4), volatile organic compounds (VOC), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), ozone (O3), and aerosols etc which affect the
global atmospheric chemistry and climate. Crop residues / biomass burning not only influence the atmospheric air quality including climate, it also affects the human health. This review covers the burning of crop residues / biomass and its affect on atmospheric quality and climate and also suggested some management options for crop residue/biomass besides burning which may be reducing the air pollution, climate as well as possibility of risk on human health.