Daily OMI tropospheric NO2 (air pollution) measurements over The Netherlands and Western Europe

Tropospheric NO2 (air pollution) over The Netherlands and Western Europe (last 24 hours)
The Netherlands and Western Europe air pollution (last 24 hours)

Today's satellite air quality measurements are available around 15:00 hours GMT for Europe. OMI (on the EOS-Aura satellite) passes over Europe around 12:45 hours (GMT) and it takes another 2-2.5 hours before the data are available here. The most recent air quality measurements can be viewed in Google Earth. The TEMIS web site contains a limited archive of air quality and air pollution Google Earth files.

Daily OMI tropospheric NO2 (air pollution) measurements over other regions in the world
Also available on the TEMIS web site.

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Archive OMI news


A New Pole Hole

Date: 12 11 2012

Chemical ozone destruction occurs over both polar regions in local winter–spring. In the Antarctic, essentially complete removal of lower-stratospheric ozone currently results in an ozone hole every year, whereas in the Arctic, ozone loss is highly variable and has until now been much more limited. The chemical ozone destruction over the Arctic in early 2011 was —for the first time in the observational record—comparable to that in the Antarctic ozone hole.

Read more about it in the Nature article by Manney et al. (2011) or in the featured research story published on the NASA Earth Data Site via the link below.

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Using daily satellite observations to estimate emissions of short-lived air pollutants

Date: 05 09 2012

Emission inventories of air pollutants are crucial information for policy makers and form important input data for air quality models. Using satellite observations for emission estimates has important advantages over bottom-up emission inventories: they are spatially consistent, have high temporal resolution, and enable updates shortly after the satellite data become available. A new algorithm is specifically designed to use daily satellite observations of column concentrations for fast updates of emission estimates of short-lived atmospheric constituents on a mesoscopic scale (about 25 x 25 km2). Closed loop tests show that the algorithm is capable of reproducing new emission scenarios. Applied with real satellite data, the algorithm is able to detect emerging sources (e.g., new power plants), and improves emission information for areas where proxy data are not or badly known (e.g., shipping emissions).

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Satellite measurements from aerosols above clouds

Date: 05 03 2012

Aerosols are tiny particles, such as smoke, soil dust, and sea salt, suspended in the atmosphere. They scatter and absorb solar radiation and play an important role in the energy balance of the earth-atmosphere system. Carbonaceous particles produced by biomass burning and boreal forest fires, and desert dust particulates originating in arid and semi-arid regions are the most predominant absorbing aerosol types, and lead to atmospheric heating. A large fraction of the atmospheric aerosol load reaches the free troposphere and is frequently located above clouds. A variety of well established space and ground based techniques are used to measure the amount (i.e., optical depth) of suspended particle matter under cloud-free conditions. Aerosol above clouds, however, can only be measured from airborne or satellite-based instrumentation.

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A-train observations of Nabro (Eritrea) eruption

Date: 05 03 2012

Marking the 20th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, Eritrea's Nabro volcano began erupting unexpectedly on June 12th. We ran advanced SO2 retrievals on the Nabro's volcanic plume using hyperspectral UV measurements made by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) onboard NASA Aura spacecraft on June 13. Peak SO2 column amounts retrieved in the volcanic cloud (> 2000 Dobson Units ) are the highest SO2 columns ever retrieved from space.

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A-train data for Merapi volcanic cloud

Date: 05 03 2012

Due to multiple volcanic eruptions in 2008-10, stratospheric sulfate aerosol concentrations are elevated compared to recent years, with possible impacts on atmospheric chemistry and radiation. Gaseous and aerosol clouds from major explosive eruption of Indonesia's Merapi volcano on November 4-5, 2010 were measured by multiple A-train sensors.

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Emissions from Oil Sands Mining

Date: 02 03 2012

Using data from OMI, researchers have found that the emission of pollutants from oil sands mining operations in Canada's Alberta Province are comparable to the emissions from a large power plant or a moderately sized city.

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Extending the Ozone Monitoring Record

Date: 25 02 2012

A new satellite instrument is sending back detailed information about the health of Earth's ozone layer, the atmospheric gas that shields life from harmful levels of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. The Ozone Mapper and Profiler Suite, or OMPS - one of five new instruments on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite - will add to a record of space-based ozone monitoring that dates back to 1978. OMPS is one of the successors to OMI and part of a long line of ozone monitoring instruments, so it is important to have overlapping flight time. Researchers will use the coming months (perhaps years) to cross-calibrate the instruments and ensure a seamless, standardized record.

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Reductions in NO2 over Europe

Date: 16 02 2012

Fuel combustion is a significant source of numerous air pollutants, which reduce local air quality, and affect global tropospheric chemistry. Satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide, emitted by combustion processes, allow for robust monitoring of atmospheric concentrations at high spatial resolution on continental scales. An evaluation of changes in tropospheric NO2 concentrations over Europe between 2004 and 2010, using spectral analysis of long-term (greater than a year) variations of daily NO2 observations of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument, shows substantial reductions in NO2 concentrations of at least 20% throughout Europe. These reductions are as much the result of temporary reductions prompted by the 2008-2009 global economic recession, as of European NOx emission controls. The results of this evaluation demonstrate that realistic concentration pathways of NO2 do not follow simple linear trends, but reflect a compilation of environmental policy and economic activity.

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Rookwolk toont proces nucleaire winter

Date: 14 02 2012

Het roet in rookwolken kan door hun donkere kleur veel zonlicht absorberen en warmte genereren waardoor rookwolken snel stijgen en binnen een paar dagen 20 kilometer hoogte kunnen bereiken. Dit proces hebben KNMI-onderzoekers aangetoond door het analyseren van metingen van de grote rookwolk die ontstond na de hevige bosbranden in Australië op 7 februari 2009. Dit zelfliftend effect van rookwolken is vergelijkbaar met het proces van stofwolken die na een kernbomontploffing ontstaan en waar nucleaire winterscenario's op zijn gebaseerd.

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Satellite-derived NO2 trends

Date: 05 01 2012

In recent years, space-borne spectrometers have been used to detect shipping emissions of nitrogen oxides. Driven by economic growth, these emissions have been increasing for several decades, yet in few studies it has been attempted to detect trends in ship emitted NO2 from space. A new method is presented that enhances the shipping signal in satellite measurements of NO2, which makes it possible to detect non-linear trends on a monthly to yearly basis. With this method, the signal of four major shipping lanes, detected by several space-born spectrometers was investigated. The results of this study show that it is possible to detect short-term economic fluctuations in satellite measurements of NO2 over major shipping lanes.

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