Air Quality

Introduction  FRAPPÉ - the Front Range Air Quality Photochemistry Experiment - aims to characterize and understand summertime air quality in the Northern Front Range Metropolitan Area. FRAPPÉ is a collaborative effort between the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, UC Berkeley, and other university collaborators, local projects and agencies including local school districts, NASA, NOAA, and NCAR. This mission will be closely coordinated with the NASA DISCOVER-AQ project, which has agreed to conduct their final aircraft deployment in the Colorado Front Range.

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AquaSatelliteSwath.jpg Aqua Satellite Swath 

Our atmosphere supports and protects life on Earth. NASA satellites observe the impact that 7 billion humans are having on the atmosphere.

(Dataset 34 - http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=34)

BlueMarbleNightlights.jpgBlue Marble Nightlights 

From space Earth at night reveals concentrations of human activity - and this activity is correlated to air pollutants.


(Dataset 85 - http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=85)


BlueMarble-Pollution.jpgBlue Marble (no clouds) with Pollution PIP's 

NASA satellites observe the impact of 7 billion humans.
-Slash-and-burn deforestation over Mexico
-Los Angeles smog
-pollution over China
-haze over Bangladesh from fire and burning fossil fuels
-West Africa fires and smoke from agricultural clearing
-smog over France
-smog over U.S. East Coast
Natural air pollution caused by: volcanoes,
sand storms, fires started by lightening

(Dataset ?)

NO2Nightlights.jpgNitrogen Dioxide over Night Lights - OMI monthly (2004-2009)

Nitrogen Dioxide is released into the air by burning coal, gasoline, and other fossil fuels. It is unhealthy to breathe and reacts with other gases to produce ozone, which is also unhealthy to breathe.
-Globally, greatest NO2 emissions are from industrial, urban centers (coal, gas-fired power plants, vehicles), forest fires.
-High levels of NO2 contribute to:
1) haze that reduces visibility
2) irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs
3) acid rain
-Strong seasonal pattern corresponds to more heating and longer pollutant lifetime in winter
-Emissions controls have successfully decreased NO2 in some areas, but new development corresponds to increasing NO2

(Dataset 32 - http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=32)

EarthAtNight1992-2012.jpgEarth at Night: 1992, 2002, 2012 

Earth is never dark everywhere, except briefly during a rare total solar eclipse, but here the whole Earth is shown at night over 20 years: 1992, 2002, 2012. Notice how many more lights turned on over two decades. More people. More cities. More lights. More energy consumption.
What do most power plants use to generate electricity?
Humans are having a noticeable effect on our atmosphere. More people and industry impact air quality, especially in places like China and India with growing populations and development.

(Dataset 99 - http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=99)

Aerosols.jpgAerosols from GEOS-5 and the GOCART Model 

Aerosols:
-sea salt from the oceans (blue)
-dust off the deserts (red)
-soot/black carbon aerosols (green) can occur naturally (e.g. forest fires caused by lightening) or from human activity (e.g. agricultural fires, fossil fuel combustion).
-sulfate aerosols (white) comes from the combustion of fossil fuels and the eruption of volcanoes, most commonly found downstream of large industrial areas.
The good news is that there have been improvements in air quality over the United States and Europe thanks to tougher regulations and using cleaner energy sources.
Monitoring our atmosphere with satellites and working together with other countries, we can identify pollution sources to clean up our air. Our atmosphere is essential for life on Earth.

(Dataset 369 - http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=369)

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