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


Ozone Layer on the Road to Recovery

Date: 17 09 2014

Earth's protective ozone layer is on track for recovery within the next few decades according to a new assessment by 282 scientists from 36 countries. The abundance of most ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere has dropped since the last assessment in 2010, and stratospheric ozone depletion has leveled off and is showing some signs of recovery. These observations were the headlines of the recent "Assessment for Decision-Makers," part of a larger report to be released in early 2015 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

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“Killer” trees? Not Exactly

Date: 16 07 2014

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan claimed that trees produce more air pollution than automobiles, fueling a spate of jokes about "killer trees." He was mostly wrong, but not completely. It is true that forests emit volatile organic compounds and reactive hydrocarbons such as isoprene, a chemical that contributes to air pollution. Although isoprene is harmless by itself, the gas reacts with other substances in the atmosphere to form certain types of fine aerosols and ground-level ozone.

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An AURA of Success

Date: 15 07 2014

On the 10th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Aura spacecraft, NASA's Earth Observatory features 10 examples of how the satellite has changed our view of dust, pollution, aerosols, and ozone in our atmosphere.

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Put a Lid on It

Date: 27 06 2014

In 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called on 22 eastern states to develop plans to significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a group of highly reactive gases released by combustion engines, electric power plants, and a range of industrial activities. NOx is a precursor to ozone, while nitrogen dioxide has some harmful health effects. In 2005, the EPA issued the Clean Air Interstate Rule, a regulation that encouraged states to use a cap-and-trade system to further reduce emissions of NOx.

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New NASA Images Highlight U.S. Air Quality Improvement

Date: 26 06 2014

Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images unveiled this week that demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country. After ten years in orbit, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite has been in orbit sufficiently long to show that people in major U.S. cities are breathing less nitrogen dioxide - a yellow-brown gas that can cause respiratory problems.

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A clearer view of hazy skies

Date: 14 06 2014

When astronauts talk about viewing Earth from space, the conversation often turns to the planet's mesmerizing beauty. They describe views of aquamarine coral reefs glimmering amidst the deep blue ocean; of armies of sand dunes marching across deserts; of clouds and lightning flashes dancing through the atmosphere

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Artic Ozone in Spring

Date: 08 06 2014

Though Earth's ozone layer has been depleted over the past four decades by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and similar chemical compounds, the changes are expressed differently at the North and South Pole. While a large ozone hole forms consistently every year over Antarctica, the concentration of Arctic ozone is much more variable. The differences occur because the weather patterns are very different.

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Tien jaar meten met OMI

Date: 15 03 2014

Het Nederlandse satellietinstrument OMI meet bijna tien jaar de ozonlaag en wereldwijde luchtvervuiling. Tijdens een internationale OMI-meeting bij het KNMI van 11 tot en met 13 maart zijn de resultaten van tien jaar OMI-metingen besproken.

De deelnemers aan de bijeenkomst zijn wetenschappers afkomstig uit onder andere Nederland, de VS en Finland. NASA heeft Nederland in 1998 verzocht het innovatieve Ozone Monitoring Instrument te ontwikkelen om de ozonlaag en de wereldwijde luchtvervuiling nauwkeurig in kaart te brengen.

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OMI Science Team Meeting 18

Date: 20 12 2013

The 18th OMI Science Team Meeting will be held 11-13 March 2014 at KNMI in the Bilt, the Netherlands.

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Sulfur dioxide increasing over India

Date: 20 12 2013

Emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants in India increased by more than 60 percent between 2005 and 2012 according to new analysis of data from NASA’s Aura satellite. Led by Zifeng Lu of Argonne National Laboratory, the study was published online on December 5, 2013, in Environmental Science & Technology.

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Antarctic Ozone Hole in 2013

Date: 04 11 2013

According NASA's Ozone Hole Watch team and based upon a combination of ozone column data from OMI and from the Ozone Monitoring and Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite, the ozone hole over Antarctica was slightly smaller in 2013 than the average for recent decades. The combined set of satellite data showed an the average size of the hole in September-October 2013 of 21.0 million square kilometers. The average size since the mid 1990s is 22.5 million square kilometers.

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Satellites improve air quality monitoring in South Africa

Date: 26 08 2013

Economic development often means an increase of harmful gases into the atmosphere. ESA's GlobEmission project uses satellite data to monitor atmospheric pollution from emissions.

State-of-the-art satellite measurements and computer models are used to calculate the measured air pollutant concentrations back to their origins. This allows for improved emission estimates in terms of spatial consistency, temporal resolution, and for rapid availability.

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More North American wildfire smoke observed over Europe

Date: 11 07 2013

In the beginning of July 2013, Canadian wildfires have lead to smoke plumes drifting over the Atlantic Ocean towards northern Europe. The wildfires are occurring throughout Canada, from British Columbia to Quebec. These smoke plumes have been detected by ground-based lidar systems in Europe, e.g. in Norway and the Netherlands.

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Smoke from Colorado wildfires reaches Europe

Date: 28 06 2013

On 25 June 2013, smoke from the large wildfires in Colorado (USA) reached Europe. This was seen in the OMI and GOME-2 aerosol images.

The smoke originated from large wildfires in Colorado, in the Rio Grande National Forest around West Fork. The wildfires started on 5 June and were caused by lightning strikes. The main burning material are the many dead trees killed by infestation with the mountain pine beetle. In combination with drought and, from 20 June onwards, strong surface winds (up to 50 mph), this resulted in raging fires. The excessive heat of the fires also caused pyrocumulus clouds. The meteorological conditions caused the smoke to be lifted rapidly to high altitudes (13 km according to Calipso lidar measurements). At high altitudes the smoke was transported to Europe.

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Eruptions from Popacatépetl observed from space

Date: 20 06 2013

Popocatépetl (pronounced poh-poh-kah-TEH-peh-til), located about 70 km southeast of Mexico City, is one of Mexico’s presently most active volcanoes. Over the last 20 years it showed frequent venting from fumaroles punctuated by minor steam, gas, and ash emissions, and more or less permanent smoke plume hanging around the volcano. This year the volcano continued its activity with frequent minor eruptions, the most recent one on 14/15 and 18 June. These eruptions include emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), which the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring instrument on board of NASA’s Aura satellite is able to measure from space.

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A Satellite's View of Ship Pollution

Date: 08 02 2013

For more than a decade, scientists have observed ship tracks in natural-color satellite imagery of the ocean. These bright, linear trails amidst the cloud layers are created by particles and gases from ships. They are a visible manifestation of pollution from ship exhaust, and scientists can now see that ships have a more subtle, almost invisible, signature as well. Data from OMI show long tracks of elevated nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels along certain shipping routes.

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Pollution across Southwestern Asia

Date: 08 01 2013

Cold winter weather and burgeoning industrial economies have made for difficult breathing in Asia and the Middle East this January. News reports from Tehran, Beijing, and other cities have described hazy skies with very low visibility; restrictions on driving, factory operations, and outdoor activity; and hospitals full of people with lung ailments.

OMI observations of the atmosphere above southwestern Asia from January 1-8, 2013, show elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitrogen dioxide is a key emission from the burning of fossil fuels by cars, trucks, power plants, and factories; the combustion of fuel also produces sulfur dioxides and aerosol particles. In the winter, NO2 is less likely to breed ozone, but it does linger for a long time and contribute to fine particle pollution.

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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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SO2 Pollution Controls Bring Results

Date: 02 12 2011

Scientists, regulators, and the electric power industry came together to address a pollution problem, and the result is cleaner air in the United States. The pollutant is sulfur dioxide, a key emission from coal-fired power plants that contributes to the formation of acid rain and to respiratory health problems.

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2011 Antarctic Ozone Minimum

Date: 21 10 2011

Scientists from NASA and the NOAA confirmed today that ozone depletion over the South Pole in 2011 has reached its annual maximum. Researchers used satellites, ground based monitors, and instrumented balloons to observe the hole, finding it to be among the top 10 worst for the breadth and depth of ozone loss in the 26 year record.

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Study of Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss

Date: 03 10 2011

A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere.

The study, published online Sunday, Oct. 2, in the journal Nature, finds the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone "hole" has formed each spring since the mid-1980s.

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OMI registreert luchtvervuiling metropolen

Date: 23 09 2011

Onderzoekers van het Duitse Max Planck Instituut en het KNMI hebben de uitstoot van stikstofoxiden van een aantal wereldsteden kunnen bepalen met behulp van OMI. Met name het wegverkeer produceert in wereldsteden dagelijks duizenden tonnen stikstofoxiden waardoor de luchtkwaliteit op deze plekken verslechtert.

Voor het eerst zijn gelijktijdig zowel de emissies als de levensduur van de stikstofoxiden vastgelegd voor een aantal metropolen zoals het Chinese Hong Kong en de Saudische hoofdstad Riyadh.

De resultaten van dit onderzoek zijn gepubliceerd in het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift Science.

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Pollution in the Great Lakes Region

Date: 21 07 2011

Fires throughout Ontario, Canada are generating pollution that is showing up in NO2 data from OMI in the Great Lakes region. The fires have also forced thousands of residents to evacuate to other areas in Canada, according to CBC News. About 112 fires have ravaged 81,545 acres so far

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Pollution "Butterfly"

Date: 15 07 2011

Fires raging in central Africa are generating a high amount of pollution that is showing up in NO2 data from OMI, with the ominous shape of a dark red butterfly in the skies over southern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola.

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Pollution from New Mexico, Arizona Fires

Date: 01 07 2011

OMI has provided a view of nitrogen dioxide levels coming from the fires in New Mexico and Arizona. Detecting nitrogen dioxide is important because it reacts with sunlight to create low-level ozone or smog and poor air quality.

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Ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle circles the globe

Date: 18 06 2011

In its early, violent days, the eruption at the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex sent clouds of ash high into the atmosphere. Rising some 15 kilometers into the air, the ash settled into a jet of fast-moving wind on a trip around the world.

The ash remained concentrated as it circled the globe in the stratosphere - enough so that it was visible in photo-like images over New Zealand and Australia. It was also concentrated enough to disrupt air travel in those countries.

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Grímsvötn Volcano Eruption (incl. movie)

Date: 02 06 2011

The Grímsvötn volcano in southeast Iceland started eruption on 21 May 21. The plume rose to an altitude of about 20km. Various satellite sensors followed the ash cloud. OMI's ultraviolet aerosol index allows volcanic ash to be detected over clouds whereas this is more difficult with a visible image. OMI also measured the sulfur dioxide (SO2) released by the volcano. The movie shows that the SO2 moved in a different direction than the ash cloud.

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Uitbarsting IJsland vulkaan Grimsvötn

Date: 25 05 2011

De rook- en aspluim van de vulkaan Grimsvötn op IJsland, die zaterdag 21 mei is uitgebarsten, bereikte een zeer grote hoogte van 20 kilometer. Inmiddels is de hoogte van de rookkolom afgenomen tot ongeveer 5 kilometer en is de eruptie stabiel. Het KNMI, dat de luchtvaart voorziet van weerinformatie, volgt de ontwikkelingen op de voet en verricht indien nodig metingen. De aswolk wordt gevolgd met satellieten, instrumenten op de grond en computermodelberekeningen.

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Dust Blown from Africa to Scandinavia

Date: 15 04 2011

Atmospheric scientists track aerosols because they have important impacts on weather, climate, and human health. Mineral dust is one of the most abundant aerosols, a product of winds blowing across our deserts and beaches, picking up tiny bits of rock and sand and distributing them all over the world. Dust can fertilize the ocean for plankton and seed the sky for cloud formation.

Sometimes dust storms are just cool to watch, as well. In this series of images from OMI, the dust from a Saharan sand storm blows several thousand kilometers over the North Atlantic and Europe in April 2011.

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Kou in ozonlaag Noordpool leidt tot ozonafbraak

Date: 04 04 2011

Het was bijzonder koud in de ozonlaag afgelopen maand. De lage temperaturen in de ozonlaag boven de Noordpool hielden dit voorjaar uitzonderlijk lang aan. In de eerste helft van maart werden in de stratosfeer op zo'n 20 kilometer hoogte zelfs een paar dagen lang kouderecords gevestigd voor deze tijd van het jaar. Mede hierdoor ontstond er een ozongat boven de Noordpool, zij het niet zo diep als jaarlijkse ozongat boven de Zuidpool.

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Record Arctic Ozone Loss

Date: 30 03 2011

Recent observations from satellites and ground stations suggest that atmospheric ozone levels for March in the Arctic were approaching the lowest levels in the modern instrumental era. What those readings mean for the remainder of the year is unclear. But what they mean for the long-term is that the recovery from human-induced ozone depletion is an uneven climb.

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In twaalf dagen de wereld rond

Date: 01 03 2011

Rookpluimen van omvangrijke bosbranden kunnen onder bepaalde omstandigheden verder komen en langer standhouden dan eerder was gedacht. Dat stelt klimaatonderzoeker Ruud Dirksen in zijn promotieonderzoek aan de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.

Dirksen onderzocht het transport van een rookwolk uitgestoten door de hevige bosbranden in december 2006 in Australië. De rook kwam op meer dan 12 kilometer hoogte in de stratosfeer terecht en maakte mede dankzij de straalstroom in twaalf dagen een reis om de wereld.

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Global satellite analysis of the relation between aerosols and short-lived trace gases

Date: 21 02 2011

Most of the anthropogenic aerosol ("man-made") particles are formed in the air from gases like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and organics. This study investigates the relation between the concentrations of these gases and the concentrations of the aerosols. Therefore, observations of the Dutch-Finnish OMI instrument and the U.S. MODIS instrument have been used. By using global satellite data, different regions on Earth can be compared directly.

This study shows that satellite data provides unique global information on aerosols and their relation with the gases from which they are formed. This information can be used to predict reductions of the aerosol concentrations due to pollution control measures and the resulting climate effects. Aerosols are important for climate forcing, but the magnitude of these effects is poorly quantified.

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Ozone Hole through the years

Date: 01 02 2011

This series of images above shows the Antarctic ozone hole on the day of its maximum depletion in four different years; that is, the days with the thinnest ozone layer as measured in Dobson Units (DU). The measurements were made by NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instruments from 1979–2003 and by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) from 2004–present.

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A Day of Night-Shining Clouds

Date: 28 01 2011

Scientists have a good reason to track noctilucent or polar mesospheric clouds: they are a pretty good gauge of even the tiniest changes in the atmosphere. These "night-shining clouds", as they are sometimes called, are thin, wavy ice clouds that form at very high altitudes and reflect sunlight long after the Sun has dropped below the horizon.

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Night-Shining Clouds are Getting Brighter

Date: 27 01 2011

DeLand, an atmospheric scientist with SSAI and NASA's GSFC, has found that polar mesospheric clouds are forming more frequently and becoming brighter. He has been observing the clouds in data from SBUV instruments since 1978 and from 2004 with OMI (see also "A Day of Night-Shining Clouds").

The upward trend in brightness, says DeLand, reveals subtle changes in the atmosphere that may be linked to greenhouse gases.

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Air quality monitoring and forecasting in China

Date: 28 12 2010

For the last decade the industrial activity of China has been growing at rapid pace, bringing economic wealth to its 1300 million inhabitants, but also generating an unprecedented level of air pollution. This deteriorates the air quality of the densely populated and industrialized areas such as Beijing, Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta, and increases the background pollution levels world-wide (1). The EU AMFIC project, led by KNMI, kicked off in September 2007 and aims at monitoring and forecasting the air quality in China by using satellite observations and model simulations, together with ground observations from collaborating Chinese institutes. The combination of these instruments and tools offers a unique possibility to investigate trends in air pollution and the effectiveness of air quality policy.

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Thirty year ozone record: the Multi Sensor Reanalysis (MSR)

Date: 03 12 2010

A single coherent total ozone dataset, called the Multi Sensor Reanalysis (MSR), has been created from all available ozone column data measured by polar orbiting satellites in the near-ultraviolet Huggins band in the last thirty years.

Fourteen total ozone retrieval datasets from the satellite instruments TOMS, SBUV, GOME, SCIAMACHY, OMI, and GOME-2 have been used in the MSR. As first step a bias correction scheme is applied to all satellite observations, based on independent ground-based total ozone data from the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Data Center.

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TROPOMI: Sensing the Troposphere from Space

Date: 29 11 2010

TROPOMI is a Dutch initiative building upon the successes of SCIAMACHY and OMI. This new instrument combines all innovative aspects of the previous instruments and improves on most specifications. Notably improved are horizontal resolution and the accuracy of the tropospheric columns, due to improved cloud and surface albedo characterization capabilities. By flying in an afternoon orbit (overpass time is 13:30 local time), the TROPOMI measurements can be combined with the GOME-2 measurements flying in the morning (9:30 am) to obtain information on the diurnal cycle of several of the trace gases. It will be for the first time that the diurnal cycle will be measured from space on a daily basis.

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Eruption at Mount Merapi (Indonesia)

Date: 11 11 2010

In late October and early November 2010, eruptions at Indonesia’s Mount Merapi produced ash plumes, lahars, and pyroclastic flows. The volcano also released sulfur dioxide, a colorless gas that can harm human health and cool Earth's climate.

On November 9, 2010, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin, Australia, reported a sulfur dioxide cloud over the Indian Ocean between 12,000 and 15,000 meters, in the upper troposphere. As of early November, Merapi had emitted just 1 percent into the stratosphere of what was released by Mount Pinatubo in 1991, and therefore it is expected that the Merapi eruption will hardly have an effect on global temperatures.

See also the news about this eruption on the Aura science news site.

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Luchtkwaliteitverwachtingen voor Nederland

Date: 09 11 2010

Luchtverontreiniging kan schadelijk zijn voor de gezondheid van de mens. Langdurige blootstelling aan luchtverontreiniging kan leiden tot ernstige gezondheidsklachten en een verkorting van de levensverwachting, terwijl mensen met luchtwegaandoeningen al bij een enkele blootstelling aan sterke verontreiniging ernstige hinder kunnen ondervinden. Het is daarom van belang dat er een betrouwbare luchtkwaliteitverwachting bestaat. In dit stuk wordt nader ingegaan op de luchtkwaliteitverwachting die het RIVM, TNO en het KNMI sinds de zomer van 2009 dagelijks berekenen.

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Wandering Ozone Hole in November 2009

Date: 02 11 2010

Using measurements from ground stations and from satellites instruments such as OMI on EOS-Aura, researchers led by Jos de Laat of the KNMI found that the ozone hole was centered just off the southern tip of Chile and Argentina for three weeks in November 2009, rather than its usual center over Antarctica.

The event gave citizens of Tierra del Fuego and nearby regions nearly twice the normal dose of UV radiation for the area.

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Brochure Our changing atmosphere: Discoveries from EOS Aura

Date: 29 10 2010

View the latest brochure highlighting some of the discoveries from the Aura Mission during its first five years (2004-2009) in the research areas on:

  • Stratosphere Ozone
  • Air Quality
  • Aersols
  • Climate Change

Note that the PDF file is 55 Mb in size, so the download may take a while.

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Introducing the A-Train

Date: 26 10 2010

A convoy of "A-Train" satellites has emerged as one of the most powerful tools scientists have for understanding our planet’s changing climate. OMI, on board EOS-Aura is part of this "A-Train".

This multi-sensor view allows scientists to simultaneously observe changes in key environmental phenomenon from numerous perspectives. And it helps skirt around engineering obstacles that would have made it impossible to cluster all 15 instruments on one large spacecraft. But it wasn’t necessarily planned that way. Formation flying is a fairly novel concept, and it came to the fore partly by accident. The concept of an A-Train first emerged when scientists and engineers were hashing out the orbit of Aura, which launched in 2004...

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Minder ozonafbraak dan gebruikelijk

Date: 15 10 2010

De ozonafbraak in de ozonlaag boven de Zuidpool is dit jaar ongeveer 40 tot 60% minder dan in de voorafgaande 5 jaar. Dat laten metingen van OMI zien. Minder ozonafbraak past in de verwachting dat de ozonlaagzich de komende decennia geleidelijk herstelt, maar de huidige grote verandering is niet toe te schrijven aan de langzame afname van stratosferisch chloor van 0.5-1% per jaar. De verminderde ozonafbraak dit jaar blijkt te worden veroorzaakt door ongebruikelijke meteorologische omstandigheden.

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Smog over China

Date: 14 10 2010

In early October 2010, a high-pressure weather system settled in over eastern China, and air pollution began to accumulate locally for nearly a week. By October 9 and 10, China’s National Environmental Monitoring Center declared air quality “poor” to “hazardous” around Beijing and in 11 eastern provinces. Citizens were advised to take measures to protect themselves, and visibility was reduced to 100 meters in some areas. News outlets reported that at least 32 people died in traffic accidents caused by the poor visibility. Untold were the number of people suffering with asthma and other respiratory difficulties.

The Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite detected extremely high levels of aerosol particles and sulfur dioxide on October 8.

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A-train look at the October pollution episode over China

Date: 14 10 2010

In early October 2010, a high-pressure weather system settled in over eastern China, and air pollution began to accumulate locally for nearly a week. By 9 and 10 October, China's National Environmental Monitoring Center declared air quality "poor" to "hazardous" around Beijing and in 11 eastern provinces. Citizens were advised to take measures to protect themselves, and visibility was reduced to 100 meters in some areas. News outlets reported that at least 32 people died in traffic accidents caused by the poor visibility. Untold were the number of people suffering with asthma and other respiratory difficulties.

The event was likely caused by a blend of increased emissions - from agricultural burning, factories, and vehicle emissions - and the stagnant weather system. The relatively calm days did not bring enough wind to blow the pollution away from its sources. By October 11, a cold front brought cleansing rain and winds that cleared up the skies.

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Monitoring and Forecasting System for Atmospheric Composition: The GEMS Project

Date: 05 10 2010

Present-day numerical weather forecasting is based on combining atmospheric models with observations from operational weather satellites and routine in-situ and surface measurements. By the ‘assimilation’ of measurements in weather models a detailed description of the present meteorological situation is obtained, which serves as starting point for successful weather forecasts. For the chemical composition and aerosols in the atmosphere such a comprehensive assimilation and forecast system did not exist until recently.

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Antarctic Ozone Hole 2010

Date: 14 09 2010

The yearly depletion of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica – more commonly referred to as the “ozone hole” – started in early August 2010 and is now expanding toward its annual maximum. The hole in the ozone layer typically reaches its maximum area in late September or early October

So far in 2010, the size and depth of the ozone hole has been slightly below the average for 1979 to 2009, likely because of warmer temperatures in the stratosphere over the far southern hemisphere.

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Russian Firestorm: Finding a Fire Cloud from Space

Date: 31 08 2010

Thick, choking smoke hung over Russia on August 1, 2010, adding to the misery of a stifling summer heat wave. Thousands of people were fleeing nearly 700 fires burning in the drought-dried forests and peat bogs of western Russia.

It was perhaps not too surprising that OMI recorded high concentrations of aerosols over far northern Russia on that day, but, they were measured above the top of high clouds. A decade ago, a scientist trying to trace the source of those high aerosols would have looked for an erupting volcano. A volcanic eruption, it was thought, was the only force powerful enough to loft aerosols twelve kilometers or more into the atmosphere. But in 2010, meteorologist Michael Fromm saw another suspect far closer to northern Russia. His experience told him that at least one of the hundreds of fires burning in western Russia had probably generated a powerful, dangerous firestorm. Was OMI's observation this summer an indicator that a similar firestorm?

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Extreem veel UV-straling op de zuidpunt van Zuid-Amerika

Date: 13 08 2010

Drie weken met weinig ozon en veel UV straling over de zuidelijke punt van Zuid Amerika traden op tijdens het 2009 Antarctische ozongat seizoen. Een verschuiving van het ozongat stelde de zuidelijke punt van Zuid Amerika bloot aan extreem hoge doses ultraviolette straling. Deze gebeurtenis zag men al dagen van tevoren aankomen, o.a. in de UV verwachtingen van het KNMI. Reden dus waarom er vorig jaar door de lokale autoriteiten in samenspraak met het KNMI en de lokale onderzoeksinstituten een waarschuwing uitging voor deze extreem hoge UV-waardes.

Echter, tot aan deze gebeurtenis was het eigenlijk onduidelijk wat de kwaliteit van die KNMI-verwachtingen was voor zulke extreme situaties. De analyse van de KNMI-gegevens en de lokale waarnemingen lieten zien dat er een uitstekende overeenkomst was tussen de verwachtingen en waarnemingen. De resultaten van deze studie laten zien dat satellietwaarnemingen een cruciale bijdrage leveren aan het monitoren en voorspellen van de hoeveelheid ozon en UV straling. Dusdanig belangrijk dat de studie door de Amerikaanse Geofysische Unie (AGU) werd uitverkozen tot een “research spotlight”.

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Satellietinstrument OMI volgt bosbranden in centraal Rusland

Date: 11 08 2010

De rook van de bosbranden in centraal Rusland wordt in kaart gebracht door het Nederlands/Finse satellietinstrument OMI. Bij de bosbranden ontstaan rook, koolmonoxide, stikstofoxiden en andere giftige gassen. Met behulp van OMI kan de luchtvervuiling door stikstofdioxide (NO2) actueel worden gevolgd

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Increasing Bad Ozone Threatens Human and Plant Health

Date: 05 08 2010

"I think what we have to dispel is that ozone pollution is confined to places like Los Angeles and Houston," says NASA Senior Research Scientist Jack Fishman. "Despite emission controls that have resulted in notable reductions in many American cities, O3 concentrations in non-urban areas in both the U.S. and around the world are increasing, with negative impacts to all living things -- plants, animals, and people."

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Scientific highlights of SCIAMACHY and OMI

Date: 28 06 2010

The Netherlands is actively involved in atmospheric composition measurements from space since 1995 with measurements from the GOME, SCIAMACHY and OMI satellite instruments. The MetOp satellite series with GOME-2 onboard will continue these measurements until 2020, thereby providing an important global climate data record. KNMI plays an active and often leading role in the analysis of measurements from these instruments. Here we describe some scientific highlights based on SCIAMACHY and OMI data.

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NASA Observes Ash Plume of Icelandic Volcano

Date: 27 05 2010

On wednesday April 14, Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted for the second time within one month. The latest eruption spewed a cloud of ash into the atmosphere that disrupted air travel in Northern Europe and around the world for quite some time.

Various satellite instruments observed the eruption and the ash cloud and their images and measurements helped forecasters who were tracking the ash plume in order to provide detailed volcanic ash hazard warnings for aviation. Among those instruments are MODIS and MISR on EOS-Terra, the CALIPSO satellite, the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite, AVHRR/3 on MetOP-A and OMI on EOS-Aura.

This news item leads to last image of a serie of example images of observations made various satellite sensors which were used to make up the volcanic ash hazard warning reports. The link at the bottom of the last item leads to the other archived images, or use this direct link.
See also the images, including those of the first eruption on NASA's Earth Observatory web site. Read more ...

KNMI toont luchtkwaliteit op wereldtentoonstelling Shanghai

Date: 10 05 2010

Het KNMI is in het Nederlands paviljoen op de Wereldtentoonstelling in Shanghai vertegenwoordigd met een luchtkwaliteitsstation. Bezoekers kunnen op een groot scherm kennis nemen van de meest recente satellietwaarnemingen door OMI van stikstofdioxyde in de troposfeer, de onderste 10 kilometer van de atmosfeer. Luchtvervuiling is door de onstuimige economische groei in de dichtbevolkte en geïndustrialiseerde gebieden van China een urgent probleem.

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NASA Aids Forecasters Tracking Iceland Volcano Ash Plume

Date: 05 05 2010

Over the past few years, observations from several sensors on NASA’s fleet of research satellites focused on the complex workings of our planet and its climate have been adapted to create new tools to aid in volcanic ash hazard warnings for aviation. Last month during the height of the shutdown of European air traffic, NASA for the first time began providing similar customized reports to European advisory centers. One of the observations used in the advisory reports are those of Sulfur dioxide (SO2) by OMI.

SO2 is a reliable marker for fresh volcanic ash clouds under clear skies especially in the early days of a high-altitude eruption. It can at times indicate the presence of ash when the ash cannot be visually detected from space. "OMI data have been very useful for tracking volcanic clouds over the last few years, and we are now identifying eruption times and locations of the Icelandic ash clouds," said Nicolai Krotkov of the University of Maryland Baltimore County who works on the OMI aviation products.

See also this page with the latest image and the subsequent link to archived images for examples of observations made various satellite sensors which were used to make up the advisory reports.

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IJsland's vulkanisch zwavel en as: metingen vanuit de ruimte en vanaf de grond met KNMI-instrumenten

Date: 16 04 2010

Wetenschappers van het KNMI gebruiken satellietmetingen van door de aardatmosfeer weerkaatst zonlicht om concentraties van vervuilende stoffen te bepalen. Zwaveldioxide absorbeert zonlicht bij bepaalde golflengtes sterker dan bij andere, en met behulp van deze spectrale vingerafdruk kan betrouwbare informatie verkregen worden over de totale hoeveelheid SO2 in de atmosfeer. Lidarwaarnemingen in Cabauw geven gedetaileerde informatie over aerosolen, waaronder het vulkaanstof. De KNMI-metingen worden gebruikt door diverse Europese luchtvaart instanties ter registratie van uitzonderlijk hoge zwaveldioxide concentraties, en ter ondersteuning van besluitvorming over het afsluiten van het luchtruim.

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Klimaateffecten van vulkaanuitbarstingen

Date: 16 04 2010

Vulkaanuitbarstingen op IJsland hebben in het verleden de temperatuur op aarde nauwelijks beďnvloed. Tropische erupties zijn wel goed zichtbaar in de temperatuurreeksen. Grote uitbarstingen zoals de Pinatubo in 1991 en de Tambora van 1815 zorgden er voor dat de wereldgemiddelde temperatuur een paar jaar een kwart tot één graad lager lag. De afkoeling wordt veroorzaakt doordat vulkanisch stof hoog in de atmosfeer zonlicht tegenhoudt. Vulkaanuitbarstingen hebben alleen een langdurig koelend effect als het stof de stratosfeer bereikt (boven de 10/15 km). Het stof van vulkaanerupties in de tropen wordt door de luchtstromingen verder omhoog gebracht en over de hele wereld verspreid, terwijl dat van vulkanen buiten de tropen naar beneden waait en snel weer verdwijnt. We verwachten dus niet dat de huidige uitbarsting van de Eyjafjallajökull op IJsland de temperatuur merkbaar zal beďnvloeden.

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Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano (Iceland)

Date: 15 04 2010

One way to describe the ash and other particles from an eruption is with an aerosol index, which is based on the way particles in the air affect the passage of visible or ultraviolet light through the atmosphere. This map, based on OMI measurements on 15 April 2010, shows the aerosol index over the North Atlantic following the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in mid-April 2010.

Eyjafjallajökull is located at the southeastern corner of Iceland, and the April 15 plume spread thickly from there all the way across the Atlantic. It forced most European countries to close their airspace. (Volcanic ash cannot be detected by airplanes’ radars, and it can cause jet engines to fail.)

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UV Exposure Has Increased Over the Last 30 Years, but Stabilized Since the Mid-1990s

Date: 16 03 2010

Ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth's surface increased for 30 years before leveling off in the mid-'90s, a new analysis of data from multiple sources shows, according to NASA-GSFC scientist Jay Herman.

In addition to analyzing ozone and ultraviolet trends, Herman also used satellite data to study whether changes in cloudiness have affected UV trends. To his surprise, he found that increased cloudiness in the southern hemisphere produced a dimming effect that increased the shielding from UV compared to previous years.

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An aerosol boomerang observed from space

Date: 14 01 2010

In December 2006 southeastern Australia suffered from severe forest fires. Using the OMI instrument we observed how a smoke plume released by these fires on 14 December rapidly crossed the Pacific and reached southern America only five days later. After passing south America the plume continued its journey over the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean to return to home base on 25 December, making it the first-time observation of rapid around-the-world transport in the extra-tropical southern hemisphere.

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Het KNMI op de klimaatconferentie in Kopenhagen: Satellietmetingen van broeikasgassen

Date: 14 12 2009

Het KNMI presenteert in Kopenhagen tijdens de 15e VN-Klimaatconferentie (COP15, Conference of the Parties), samen met diverse Nederlandse kennis- en overheidsinstellingen, zijn bevindingen op internationaal relevante klimaatonderwerpen. Een van de 3 KNMI presentaties betreft de "Satellietmetingen van broeikasgassen"

De huidige klimaatverandering wordt vooral veroorzaakt door veranderingen in de atmosfeersamenstelling als gevolg van menselijke activiteiten. Deze veranderingen kunnen vanuit satellieten ondubbelzinnig worden waargenomen. Om veranderingen in de atmosfeersamenstelling en het effect hierop van maatregelen te kunnen vaststellen, is continuïteit van de satellietmetingen een dringende noodzaak. Nederland draagt al meer dan tien jaar bij aan het waarnemen van de atmosfeersamensteling vanuit satellieten. Dit gebeurt met name met de satellietinstrumenten SCIAMACHY en OMI

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Vidi-subsidie voor ozononderzoeker KNMI

Date: 24 11 2009

e Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) heeft een Vidi-beurs toegekend aan Dr. Folkert Boersma van het KNMI voor onderzoek van ozon als luchtvervuiler en broeikasgas. Het NWO kent Vidi-subsidies toe aan toponderzoek en excellente jonge onderzoekers.

Onze kennis van ozon als luchtvervuiler en broeikasgas is nog beperkt vanwege de complexiteit van het proces dat tot ozon vorming leidt. Bovendien is het bestaande meetnetwerk van ozoninstrumenten te grofmazig om een goed beeld te krijgen van veranderlijke ozonconcentraties. Het VIDI project van Boersma beoogt deze situatie te verbeteren door gebruik te maken van satellietmetingen, ondere andere van de instrumenten OMI en TROPOMI waarover het KNMI de wetenschappelijke leiding heeft. Het grote voordeel van satellietmetingen is dat ze werelddekkend zijn en een consistent beeld opleveren van veranderende atmosfeer.

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Lage ozonwaarden Zuid-Amerika

Date: 16 11 2009

In het ozongat dat momenteel over de zuidelijkste punt van Zuid-Amerika trekt zijn extreem lage ozonwaarden gemeten. Op basis van metingen van de ozonlaag is de zonkracht daar afgelopen week opgelopen van 10 in het begin de week tot ruim 13 afgelopen weekeinde in Ushuaia in Vuurland. Een zonkracht van tussen 12 en 14 hoort tot de hoogste die ooit zijn gemeten. Zulke hoge getallen zijn doorgaans alleen in tropische of subtropische gebieden te vinden. De metingen kwamen overeen met de waarden die ook door de modellen van het KNMI waren berekend.

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OMI observes reduction of Sulfur dioxide pollution over China

Date: 10 10 2009

Chinese sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission controls were given a major strengthening in the 11th Five-Year-Plan. Power plants (mostly coal fueled) emitted an estimated 18 million tonnes of SO2 and half as much NOx in 2006 and contributed the largest amounts anthropogenic SO2 and NOx in China. OMI observations of the decrease in SO2 suggests that the SO2 controlling measures were widely applied in power plants between 2007 and 2008. Similar trends have been observed with other satellite instruments (GOME, SCIAMACHY).

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Smoke transported from the California station fire

Date: 09 10 2009

Although there are some gaps in coverage (e.g., over Nevada on 31 August), these images show that the smoke from the California station fire was dispersed over a large region. Residents of Denver reported that they could smell the smoke and that visibility was poor.

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OMI Detects Air Quality Changes Resulting from NOx Emission Regulations

Date: 08 10 2009

Regulations have resulted in reduced NOx emissions from major point sources over much of the Eastern US as shown by OMI's Continuous Emission Monitoring System data.

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Combined use of A-train data for improved aerosol characterization

Date: 07 10 2009

Aura-OMI near-UV observations are sensitive to aerosol absorption. Information on aerosol layer height is needed to retrieve single scattering albedo (SSA), the ratio of scattering efficiency to total light extinction. OMI cannot measure the height of an aerosol layer, but CALIPSO, flying just a few minutes apart in the same orbit as Aura, does measure the height. OMI and CALIPSO aerosol observations combined together improves the OMI SSA retrievals.

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Combined use of A-train data for improved cloud study

Date: 06 10 2009

The A-train detection of distinct multi-layer clouds is important for calculating radiative forcing, evaluating model cloud parameterizations, and obtaining accurate trace gas retrievals.

  • OMI and MODIS are passive sensors with excellent daily spatial coverage, and sensitivity to different parts of a cloud.
  • The CloudSat radar provides excellent vertical information, but with limited spatial coverage; it is used to evaluate OMI/MODIS results.
The combined use of all this A-train data results in an improved cloud characterization and the ability to detect multi-layer clouds.

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OMI NO2 trends: 2007 - 2005 annual means

Date: 05 10 2009

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria pollutant. It contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone. Anthropogenic sources of NO2 include power plants and transportation. The identification of humans as the main driver of global warming helps us understand how and why our climate is changing, and it clearly defines the problem as one that is within our power to address.

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The Impact of the 2005 Gulf Hurricanes as Seen by OMI

Date: 04 10 2009

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused a significant reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions from oil and gas production facilities as well as power plants.

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Emission Reductions California Show Results

Date: 03 10 2009

NO2 is more concentrated in more densely populated urban areas. NO2 forms quickly from emissions from cars, trucks and buses, power plants, and off-road equipment. In addition to contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone, and fine particle pollution, NO2 is linked with a number of adverse effects.

Over the past several years, California has enforced aggressive air quality regulations. Results of this action can be seen in Aura's OMI imagery. OMI shows that decreases in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) columns over the 4 years 2005-2008 approach 40%.

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Filling up the gaps in OMI data using A-train data for SO2 released during the Sarychev Peak eruptio

Date: 02 10 2009

Beginning in May 2007, some OMI cross-track scenes began to show radiance anomalies, impacting the quality of the level 1B and level 2 data products. These anomalies have since expanded and currently affect ~25% of OMI cross-track scenes, creating data gaps in OMI level 2 data products.

Synergy between A-Train instruments permits 'filling-in' of the OMI data gaps with near-coincident SO2 retrievals from the AIRS instrument on Aqua, about 8 minutes ahead of Aura, as demonstrated with observations of the Sarychev Peak (Kurile Islands) eruption in mid-June 2009.

The Sarychev Peak eruption was the second significant SO2 injection (~about Tg SO2) into the Northern Hemisphere (NH) stratosphere in a year, following the eruption of Kasatochi volcano (Aleutian Islands) in August 2008 (about 1.4 Tg SO2). Due to these recent eruptions, stratospheric sulfate aerosol concentrations in the NH may be elevated compared to recent years, with possible impacts on atmospheric chemistry and radiation.

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Air Pollution Controls for Summer Surface Ozone as Deduced by OMI

Date: 01 10 2009

The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) measures formaldehyde (HCHO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and the ratio of HCHO to NO2 for August 2005 shows how these data can be used to develop effective strategies to improve air quality.

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Antarctic Ozone Hole 2009

Date: 17 09 2009

The annual ozone hole started developing over the South Pole in late August 2009, and by September 10, it appeared that the ozone hole of 2009 would be comparable to ozone depletions over the past decade. However, we won’t know for another four weeks how this year’s ozone hole will fully develop.

September 16 marks the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, declared by the United Nations to commemorate the date when the Montreal Protocol was signed to ban use of ozone-depleting chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

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Smoke from Fires in Russia & Canada and Alaska

Date: 14 08 2009

In late July and early August 2009, fires raged in Russia, Canada, and Alaska, sending aerosols (airborne particles) skyward over the Arctic. This aerosol index image is based on observations by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite on August 1 and 2, 2009.

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Relative Amounts of Bad Ozone Ingredients Across the U.S.

Date: 09 08 2009

When ozone forms at ground level, it can cause respiratory illness and can damage crops and other plants. At the Earth’s surface, the ingredients for making ozone are nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (organic chemicals that vaporize easily). Both of these ingredients are found in the air pollution from vehicles (and gasoline vapors), power plants, and industrial activities, but volatile organics are also released naturally from trees and other vegetation.

Because both kinds of chemicals—plus summertime sunlight and heat—are needed to make ground-level ozone, regulators could control ozone production by reducing only one ingredient. But which one? These maps, based upon OMI measurements, show a satellite-based approach to deciding when it would be more effective to reduce nitrogen oxides and when it would be more effective to reduce volatile organic compounds.

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Dust Storm over Iraq and Iran

Date: 22 07 2009

In early July 2009, Iraq experienced the worst dust storm in living memory, according to news reports. The storm raged over Iraq for more than a week, causing hundreds of hospitalizations and claiming at least three lives. The dust spread eastward to Iran and also hovered over the Arabian Peninsula.

Satellites that acquire photo-like images of the Earth can give a general sense of how thick a dust plume is, namely whether it’s thin enough to allow a fuzzy glimpse of the surface below, or thick enough to completely obscure the underlying land or ocean. OMI provides another view of dust storms by measuring their effects on sunlight. Aerosols—solid or liquid particles suspended in the air—can absorb or reflect sunlight before it reaches Earth’s surface.

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Bouw klimaatsatelliet TropoMI kan starten

Date: 03 07 2009

Minister Maria van der Hoeven heeft een overeenkomst getekend met de Europese ruimtevaartorganisatie ESA voor de bouw van een nieuwe grotendeels Nederlandse satelliet. Deze satelliet bevat het ruimte-instrument TROPOMI dat na de lancering in 2014 de mondiale verspreiding van broeikasgassen gaat registreren.

TROPOMI – Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument – is de opvolger van de instrumenten OMI en SCIAMACHY die vanuit de ruimte informatie geven over de uitstoot en verspreiding van broeikasgassen. Deze twee grotendeels Nederlandse aardobservatie- instrumenten - OMI op NASA-satelliet EOS-AURA en SCIAMACHY op ESA-satelliet Envisat - zijn rond 2014 aan het einde van hun levensduur.
TROPOMI garandeert de voorzetting van de monitoring van klimaatontwikkeling en luchtvervuiling vanuit de ruimte.

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September Smoke Over the Amazon from 2005-2008

Date: 30 06 2009

Prior to widespread human settlement and forest clearing, there was no such thing as a fire season in the Amazon Rainforest. Today, burning begins in August, generally peaks in September, and tapers off by October; during these months, the skies over the Amazon fill with smoke.

Recently, atmospheric scientist Omar Torres of Hampton University and several colleagues investigated yearly patterns in the intensity of the Amazon fire season. Scientists use the amount of smoke and fires in the Amazon as an indicator of how much of the Amazon was cleared or degraded each year, but the burning has other impacts. Fires release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, adding to global warming.

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CINDI meet luchtvervuiling boven Nederland

Date: 29 06 2009

Ruim dertig innovatieve meetinstrumenten vanuit de hele wereld meten deze zomer de luchtvervuiling boven de KNMI-meetmast in Cabauw bij Lopik. Deze nieuwe instrumenten worden tijdens de internationale CINDI campagne onderling vergeleken en geijkt. Daarnaast dienen deze grondmetingen onder meer ook om de waarnemingen vanuit de ruimte, die gedaan worden met de satellietinstrumenten OMI, SCIAMACHY en GOME-2, verder te helpen verbeteren.

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Sarychev Eruption Generates Large Cloud of Sulfur Dioxide

Date: 18 06 2009

Atmospheric scientists are interested in tracking sulfur dioxide because it can endanger public health and because it can affect global climate. In mid-June 2009, Sarychev Peak Volcano on Matua Island in the northwest Pacific began a series of eruptions of large amounts of ash. According to atmospheric scientist Simon Carn, who is part of the science team for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite, it was also almost certainly the largest sulfur dioxide event so far this year.

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Antarctic Ozone Hole: 1979 to 2008

Date: 02 06 2009

This pair of images show the beginning and end of a nearly 30-year series of images of the Antarctic Ozone Hole feature. The 1979 image was captured by NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument aboard Nimbus-7, and the 2008 image is from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) that flies on NASA’s Aura satellite.

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Satellite Measurements Help Reveal Ozone Damage to Important Crops

Date: 27 05 2009

The U.S. soybean crop is suffering nearly $2 billion in damage a year due to rising surface ozone concentrations harming plants and reducing the crop’s yield potential, a NASA-led study has concluded. The study is based on five years of soybean yields, surface ozone, and satellite measurements of tropospheric ozone levels in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.

This study proved that space-borne satellite measurements of tropospheric ozone – derived from NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) prior to 2005, and from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) since 2005– have provided useful indicators of surface ozone concentration over a far broader area than ground-based monitors.

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The World We Avoided by Protecting the Ozone Layer

Date: 13 05 2009

The year is 2065. Nearly two-thirds of Earth’s ozone is gone—not just over the poles, but everywhere. The infamous ozone hole over Antarctica, first discovered in the 1980s, is a year-round fixture, with a twin over the North Pole. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation falling on mid-latitude cities like Washington, D.C., is strong enough to cause sunburn in just five minutes. DNA-mutating UV radiation is up more than 500 percent, with likely harmful effects on plants, animals, and human skin cancer rates.

Such is the world we would have inherited if 193 nations had not agreed to ban ozone-depleting chemicals, according to atmospheric chemists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the Johns Hopkins University, and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Led by Goddard scientist Paul Newman, the team used a state-of-the-art model to learn “what might have been” if chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and similar chemicals had not been banned through the 1989 Montreal Protocol, the first-ever international agreement on regulation of chemical pollutants, and later agreements limiting CFCs.

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Sulfur Dioxide Plume from Isla Fernandina

Date: 14 04 2009

In early April 2009, La Cumbre Volcano on Isla Fernandina in the Galapagos Islands erupted, producing an ash plume and lava flows. The eruption also produced a substantial cloud of sulfur dioxide that extended far west of the islands, over the Pacific Ocean.

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OMI Collection 3: improved level-1b data

Date: 23 03 2009

The Ozone Monitoring Instrument is equipped with a CCD-camera that allows simultaneous Earth-viewing under 60 individual angles. In the first years of operation, this novel technique appeared susceptible to calibration offsets that changed with viewing angle.

As described in a recent paper, Dobber et al. [2008] have significantly improved the calibration of the OMI level-1b data. They show that with these improvements, the accuracy of the geophysically calibrated level 1b radiance and irradiance is much better in the collection 3 data.

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Het Internationaal Pooljaar zeer succesvol

Date: 17 03 2009

Het Internationaal Pooljaar (IPY) was een succes. Honderden nieuwe projecten zijn gestart en tal van conferenties en workshops georganiseerd die hebben geleid tot nieuw onderzoek. Het polaire milieu en het polaire klimaat zijn zeer gevoelig voor veranderingen in de samenstelling van de aardse atmosfeer. Een opmerkelijke bijdrage aan het monitoren van de polaire atmosferische samenstelling wordt door Nederland geleverd met het Ozone Monitoring Instrument aan boord van de NASA EOS-AURA satelliet. Het OMI instrument werd speciaal ontwikkeld voor onderzoek naar de ozonlaag, naar luchtkwaliteit en naar het klimaat.

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Sulfur Dioxide Emissions from the Maritsa Iztok power plant (Bulgaria)

Date: 27 01 2009

When we burn fossil fuels, extract metals from ores, or make gasoline from oil, sulfur in the raw materials combines with oxygen in the atmosphere and produces sulfur dioxide (SO2). When volcanoes erupt, they also release huge amounts of the gas. SO2 causes acid rain, and it contributes to smog. It also leads to the formation of light-reflecting sulfate particles, which cool the climate.

Satellite sensors, such as OMI, provide daily global maps of SO2. These maps provide valuable input for air quality models, for assessing the impact of emissions on ecosystems, and for climate prediction models.

This image shows measurements of SO2 in the air over one of the largest power plants in eastern Europe, the Maritsa Iztok Complex in Bulgaria.

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Beijing Restrictions Reduce Pollution

Date: 18 12 2008

Chinese officials took extreme measures to improve Beijing's air quality for the 2008 summer Olympic games. Factories were closed and traffic was restricted for two months. Did the restrictions make a difference?

According to newly released research conducted by NASA researchers, they did. In August and September 2008, concentrations of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide - pollutants released when fossil fuels are burned in cars, trucks, and power plants - fell dramatically over Beijing.

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Volcanic Haze over Hawaii

Date: 06 12 2008

Dense, gray-white haze hung low over the Hawaiian Islands on December 3, 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image. Though seldom so thick or widespread, the haze is common in Hawaii. It forms when sulfur dioxide from the islands’ volcanoes mixes with oxygen and water in the atmosphere. The tiny sulfate particles that make up vog reflect light well so that vog shows up easily when viewed from space. A little less than 10 minutes after Aqua MODIS captured this image, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite also detected high levels of sulfur dioxide over and around the island of Hawaii.

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Sulfur Dioxide from smelters at Noril'sk (Russia)

Date: 05 12 2008

This image shows average concentrations of sulfur dioxide from the Noril’sk facility, measured by OMI. The measurements are for the months of June through August from 2005 through 2007.

Significant amounts of nickel, palladium and copper, come from one place: Siberia’s Noril’sk smelting facility. The mining facility supports a population of roughly 200.000 people, yet it has also created some of the world’s worst air pollution.

Large amounts of sulfur dioxide cause eye irritation, respiratory damage, and acid rain. Around the Noril’sk mining facility, expanses of dead forest testify to the acid rain’s impact. By 2007, at least 1.2 million acres (4,850 square kilometers) of trees had died.

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Nederland bouwt nieuw satelliet-instrument

Date: 01 12 2008

Nederlandse ruimtevaartbedrijven en -instituten kunnen aan de slag met de ontwikkeling van het ruimte-instrument TROPOMI. De Europese ruimtevaartorganisatie ESA gaat de satelliet bouwen waarop TROPOMI in 2014 in een baan rond de aarde komt. Dit is voor Nederland een van de belangrijkste uitkomsten van de vandaag beëindigde ESA-ministersconferentie, waar minister Van der Hoeven van Economische Zaken namens Nederland een warm pleidooi hield voor TROPOMI. Het instrument moet wetenschappers waardevolle gegevens opleveren voor onderzoek naar luchtvervuiling en klimaatverandering.

Tropomi dient ook om het dreigende gat tussen de huidige missies als OMI en SCIAMACHY, die het einde van levensduur zien naderen, en de pas voor 2020 geplande opvolger op te vullen, zodat geen er hopelijk geen onderbreking in de reeks gegevens over de atmosfeer ontstaat.

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Earth surface reflectance climatology from 3 years of OMI data

Date: 14 11 2008

The reflectance of the Earth surface is a critical parameter for satellite retrievals of the atmospheric trace gases, clouds and aerosols. Also, it is often a critial parameter to describe the radiation balance in climate models. Kleipool et al. [2008] used three years of data from OMI to derive the surface reflectance of the globe on a 0.5 by 0.5 degree grid for every month of the year. The reflectance is given for 23 wavelengths between 328 and 500 nm. The data compares well with existing albedo climatologies derived from other satellite instruments (TOMS, GOME, MODIS), and significantly improves on these data sets by better spectral and/or spatial resolution.

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Fires in California

Date: 06 11 2008

Smoke from the recent outbreak of fires in Southern California can clearly be seen from NASA satellites. MODIS observations show the smoke drifting to the southwest from the Los Angeles basin over the waters of the Pacific Ocean. OMI measurements show aerosols, tiny particles within smoke.

In the MODIS image, the smoke disappears when it moves over the bright surface of the low-level marine stratocumulus clouds. The OMI aerosol index measurement reveals, however, that smoke is present over the clouds. Such ultraviolet measurements from instruments like OMI are useful to scientists working to understand how aerosols affect clouds.

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The Ozone Hole of 2008

Date: 25 10 2008

On September 12, 2008, the Antarctic ozone hole reached its maximum size for the year. Represented by blues and purples in this image from OMI, the ozone hole covered about 27 million square kilometers, making it larger than North America, which is about 25 million square kilometers. Though larger than it was in 2007, the 2008 ozone hole was still smaller than the record set in 2006.

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Bijzondere schemering door vulkaan Kasatochi

Date: 11 09 2008

In augustus, vooral op de 29e, zijn bijzondere schemeringskleuren waargenomen die verband houden met de uitbarsting eerder deze maand van vulkaan Kasatochi. Bij die uitbarsting is er veel zwaveldioxide (SO2) uitgestoten, dat de afgelopen weken ook boven De Bilt is gemeten (vanaf de grond en vanuit de ruimte met OMI). De gas- en stofwolken van de vulkaan zijn vooral op een hoogte van 10 tot 12 kilometer terecht gekomen, maar een klein gedeelte is doorgestroomd naar de stratosfeer, tot een hoogte van 17 kilometer.

Een grote hoeveelheid vulkaanstof vertaalt zich in de atmosfeer in een opvallend rode schemeringskleuren. De hoeveelheden stof afkomstig van de Kasatochi zijn echter minder groot en zichtbaar dan na de uitbarsting van de Pinatubo in 1991 welke resulteerden in diep-rode schermeringen. Nu is er een opvallend lichte rose/oranje gekleurde schemering met vegen te zien.

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DANDELIONS 2005 and 2006 Campaigns at Cabauw: Intercomparisons of NO2 measurements

Date: 03 09 2008

The 2005 and 2006 DANDELIONS campaigns were unique because they brought together an unprecedented variety of measurement techniques to measure NO2, aerosols and ozone at Cabauw, The Netherlands. Also unique was that in 2006, the vertical dimension was used by placing instrumentation at ground level as well as in the 220 m. tower.

Using these ground-based instruments viewing in different directions, in-situ instruments, and a NO2 lidar, Brinksma et al. [2008] show significant spatial variability in NO_2 fields, depending on the direction in which one looks. This means that the modest agreement (r=0.6) found between the ground-based and OMI NO2 retrievals is as good as it gets.

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Aleutian Islands Kasatochi Volcano Erupts - Part 3

Date: 13 08 2008

The plume of sulfur dioxide from the eruption of the Kasatochi Volcano in the first week of August continued its trans-continental trek across North America on August 13, 2008. This image based on data from OMI shows sulfur dioxide concentrations high in the atmosphere (higher than urban and industrial pollution would be found). The volcanic gas spread across the Arctic and also dipped southward across Canada and into the Northeast United States

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Aleutian Islands Kasatochi Volcano Erupts - Part 2

Date: 12 08 2008

Sulfur dioxide from the eruption of Kasatochi Volcano in the Aleutian Islands on August 8 continued to spread eastward on August 12 and was observed by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite. Winds were moving the gas in a large counter clockwise loop over the Pacific Ocean and back toward Alaska, but also spreading streamers over the Arctic and eastward across the United States and Canada.

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Aleutian Islands Kasatochi Volcano Erupts - Part 1

Date: 10 08 2008

Between August 7 and August 8, 2008, three explosive eruptions rocked the Kasatochi Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The volcano released a large cloud of sulfur dioxide. In the days that followed the eruption, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite tracked a dense cloud that contained about 1.5 million tons of sulfur dioxide.

It was one of the largest volcanic sulfur dioxide clouds scientists have observed since Chile's Hudson volcano erupted in August 1991.

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Daily Air Quality Forecast for China

Date: 27 07 2008

The AMFIC project addresses atmospheric environmental monitoring over China. The aim is to develop an integrated information system for monitoring and forecasting tropospheric pollutants over China. The web site of the forecast service has been launched recently. Every day it publishes a 3-day forecast calculated by the chemical transport model Chimere. The model runs with the emission inventory of Street et al, 2006. Satellite data from OMI and GOME-2 is used to adjust the emissions for the effect of the air quality measures taken by the Beijing authorities during the Olympic Games.

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Okmok eruption (incl. movie)

Date: 23 07 2008

A strong explosive eruption of Okmok began abruptly on 12 July 2008, sending a cloud of volcanic ash and gas to about 17 km altitude in the lower stratosphere. Satellite tracking of the ash cloud by traditional infrared (IR) techniques was hampered by the high water content of the volcanic plume. However, sulfur dioxide (SO2) measurements from OMI permitted tracking of the eruption cloud in near real-time, as it drifted south of the Aleutians across the North Pacific and then eastwards across the conterminous United States and Canada. Airlines were rerouted aircraft to avoid the Okmok volcanic cloudit due to the potential threat of volcanic ash in the cloud.

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Troposferisch ozon en het klimaat

Date: 01 07 2008

De chemische samenstelling van de atmosfeer hangt op vele manieren samen met de toestand van het klimaat op mondiale, regionale en lokale schaal. Hier zullen we een aantal aspecten van deze interactie bespreken aan de hand van veranderingen die in recente jaren zijn waargenomen in de ozonconcentraties boven Europa.

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Assuring quality for long-term ozone trend studies

Date: 01 07 2008

The record of total ozone derived from the TOMS instrument series since November 1978 and continued by OMI since July 2004, is the longest to date and essential to study the recovery of the ozone layer. To verify the quality of the OMI-TOMS ozone data and its potential for trend analysis, Kroon et al. [2008] compare two ozone retrieval methods applied for the OMI instrument.

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The eye of the beholder

Date: 02 06 2008

OMI uses reflected sunlight to retrieve concentrations of trace gases in the atmosphere, like O3 and NO2. These retrieved trace gas amounts must be corrected for the presence of clouds in the atmosphere. Cloud heights are derived from OMI observations of scattered light in the UV-visible range. However, satellite imagers like MODIS use thermal infra-red radiation, emitted by the clouds themselves. The two observation methods give a different view of clouds: OMI sees the middle of the cloud, whereas MODIS sees the top of the cloud.

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Springtime OMI Measurements of Bromine Monoxide (BrO) (incl. animation)

Date: 28 05 2008

Despite its low atmospheric abundance, bromine monoxide (BrO) plays an important role in the chemistry of the atmosphere because of its very high efficiency as a catalyst of the ozone destruction.

The role of BrO has been highlighted first in the context of the stratospheric ozone layer problematic. Recent findings, however, have demonstrated that BrO is also produced with significant amounts in the troposphere where it can influence the chemistry of tropospheric ozone.

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Aerosols and SO2 from Chaiten Volcano

Date: 24 05 2008

On May 2, 2008, the Chaitén Volcano of southern Chile rumbled to life. The eruption was a surprise - it was Chaitén's first eruption in more than 9,000 years. It blanketed some nearby areas in as much as 1.5 meters of volcanic ash. It also send a cloud of ash high into the atmosphere. Are we in for a cool summer in the wake of the eruption, like the summer Philippine's Mount Pinatubo erupted?

Most likely not, and the reason is illustrated in this pair of images with observations made by OMI. The images compare total aerosols, tiny particles of both ash and sulfates to the part of the plume made up of sulfur dioxide alone.

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Satellietinstrument OMI volgt vulkaanuitbarsting Chili

Date: 11 05 2008

Het Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) heeft op 8 mei voor het eerst sinds de uitbarsting van de Chaitén vulkaan op Chili een verhoogde hoeveelheid zwaveldioxide (SO2) gemeten. Bij de uitbarsting is veel as en waterdamp vrijgekomen maar weinig zwavelverbindingen.

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Sulfur Dioxide and Vog from Kilauea

Date: 30 04 2008

In late April 2008, Kilauea Volcano Volcano on Hawaii's big island continued its pattern of increased activity, including elevated seismic tremors and emissions. Two NASA satellite sensors observed different aspects of the volcano's activity on April 26, 2008. As Kilauea emitted ash and steam, the sensors recorded both the visible volcanic emissions (a volcanic smog known as vog), and the concentrations of one volcanic pollutant not visible to human eyes (SO2).

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Sulfur Dioxide Plume from Kilauea

Date: 29 03 2008

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, but it is of the sort that tends to ooze lava more often than it explodes. Until March 19, 2008 occurred in 1924. But starting on March 19, a small explosion from the crater rained rock and ash over the summit. The explosion heralded further activity at the summit, including a two- to four-fold increase in the amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) seeping from the volcano.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory warned on March 28 that SO2 concentrations in the air downwind from the volcano were likely to be hazardous.

OMI recorded the increase in SO2 rising out of Kilauea between March 20 and March 27, 2008. Throughout the period, the easterly trade winds swept a long plume of sulfur dioxide south and west, away from major populated areas.

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Nauwkeuriger methode voor luchtkwaliteitverwachting

Date: 14 02 2008

De Europese Milieu Organisatie EEA is nu officieel gebruiker van Europese luchtkwaliteitsverwachting, gebaseerd op metingen vanuit de ruimte (onder andere de OMI NO2 metingen) en vanaf de grond en drie modellen voor de luchtkwaliteit. Een van die modellen is gezamelijk ontwikkeld door het KNMI, RIVM en TNO.
De EEA heeft een taak in de voorlichting over Europese luchtkwaliteit, zowel voor de burger als beleidsondersteunend voor heel Europa.

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Sulfur Dioxide Plume from Llaima Volcano

Date: 09 01 2008

On January 1, 2008, Chile\u2019s Llaima Volcano erupted, raining ash on the local wilderness park and sending a column of smoke skyward. In addition to volcanic ash, Llaima\u2019s eruption released a plume of sulfur dioxide. The initially intense plume thinned as it moved eastward. This image, acquired by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA\u2019s Aura satellite, shows the progress of that plume from January 2-4, 2008.

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Beste school bezoekt het KNMI

Date: 15 11 2007

Leerlingen van het Christiaan Huygens college uit Eindhoven hebben de meeste metingen verricht voor het GLOBE aërosolenproject. Om dat te vieren en voor een workshop en presentatie van OMI zijn de leerlingen donderdag te gast bij het KNMI in De Bilt.

Het project richt zich op het verzamelen van meetgegevens die nodig zijn voor validatie van de aërosolgegevens boven Nederland, gemeten door OMI. Onderzoek heeft aangetoond dat de scholierenmetingen van goede kwaliteit zijn. De scholieren en hun docenten worden door het KNMI getraind en begeleid. Zo leveren de leerlingen een bijdrage aan het klimaatonderzoek van het KNMI. Het GLOBE project is opgestart door Nobelprijs winnaar Al Gore.

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Winds Blow Smoke in California (incl. animation)

Date: 04 11 2007

During the fires in Southern California during the fourth week of October, the air quality in many areas deteriorated to levels that the Environmental Protection Agency categorizes as "unhealthy".

This pair of images shows the location and thickness of smoke on October 24 and 26 combined with arrows showing wind speed and direction. The smoke was observed by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite.

For more images of this event, see also this overview on the NASA Earth Observatory - Natural Hazards site.

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Lucht sterk vervuild na branden Californië

Date: 31 10 2007

De hoeveelheden stikstofdioxide (NO2) en aërosolen van de branden in Californië zijn vergelijkbaar met de grote hoeveelheden die in augustus bij de Griekse branden zijn gemeten. Dat blijkt uit waarnemingen van het Ozone Monitoring Instrument OMI, die het KNMI verwerkt.

De NO2 hoeveelheden die bij de branden in Californië zijn gemeten worden normaal alleen in zeer vervuilde (geïndustrialiseerde) gebieden gemeten. De autoriteiten in Californië hebben de inwoners gewaarschuwd voor zeer gevaarlijke luchtvervuiling. Op de OMI-satellietopnamen is duidelijk te zien hoe de krachtige oostenwind, die de branden zo sterk aanwakkerde, de NO2 en aërosolen tot ver boven de Stille Oceaan blaast.

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Nederlandse satellietbeelden luchtkwaliteit in Google Earth

Date: 19 10 2007

De uitstoot en verspreiding van vervuilende stoffen en broeikasgassen in de atmosfeer is nu door iedereen te volgen met Google Earth. Het Nederlands ruimteonderzoeksinstituut SRON en het KNMI stellen de satellietbeelden van de ruimte-instrumenten SCIAMACHY en OMI beschikbaar via internet. Met Google Earth zijn deze beelden te projecteren op de aardbol en kunnen de beelden als filmpjes worden getoond.

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Najaars Scholieren Meetcampagne fijn stof

Date: 30 09 2007

Volgend op de succesvolle voorjaarscampagne organiseert het KNMI dit najaar samen met SME Advies de Najaars Scholieren Meetcampagne Aërosolen in het kader van het Globe project.
Scholieren uit heel Nederland gaan dagelijks een half uurtje de buitenlucht in om metingen te doen van aërosolen (fijn stof).

Deze metingen worden vervolgens door het KNMI vergeleken met de metingen door het satellietinstrument OMI om zo een beter begrip te krijgen van de (grote) rol die aërosolen spelen bij klimaatverandering.

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Date: 16 09 2007

De 16e september herinnert aan de dag waarop in 1987 het Montreal Protocol van kracht werd. Dat verdrag voorziet in het geleidelijk verdwijnen van ozonafbrekende stoffen uit de atmosfeer.

De ozonlaag bevindt zich tussen ongeveer 10 en 30 kilometer hoogte en houdt de voor het leven zo schadelijke ultraviolette straling van de zon grotendeels tegen.

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OMI volgt Griekse rook

Date: 27 08 2007

OMI metingen laten zien hoe de bosbranden in Griekenland grote hoeveelheden NO2 produceren, die onder invloed van de krachtige noordoostenwind als een grote pluim richting de de Libische kust waait.
Onderzoekers van het KNMI hebben die meetingen nader onderzocht om de rook te analyseren. NO2, dat in hoge concentraties giftig is, speelt een belangrijke rol bij de vorming van smog. NO2 heeft rechtstreeks invloed op de kwaliteit van de lucht in de troposfeer. De belangrijkste bron van NO2 in de troposfeer is menselijk handelen in de vorm van verkeer, zware industrie, en verbranding van biomassa. De door OMI gemeten NO2 concentraties boven Griekenland zijn vergelijkbaar met die van zwaar vervuilde gebieden op aarde.

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Activity at Manda Hararo, Ethiopia

Date: 13 08 2007

In western Afar, Ethiopia, sits a massive volcano complex, roughly 105 kilometers by 25 kilometers. Known as Manda Hararo, the area had not been known for eruptive activity, but in August 2007, satellite, aerial, and ground-based observations showed the volcanic complex coming to life. According to a report from the Smithsonian Institution, an August 16 inspection of the site showed lava flows—including splattering and bubbling lava—from fissures in the complex, as well as sulfur deposits. On August 13, OMI observations detected gaseous emissions of sulfur dioxide.

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Smoke Spreading from Greece to Africa

Date: 31 07 2007

Besides laying waste to huge areas of forest, fires burning in Greece in August 2007 released pollutants that traveled across the Mediterranean Sea and into Africa. This image shows aerosols - tiny solid or liquid particles suspended in air - observed by OMI layered on the photo-like composite image.

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Driving Ban Lowers Beijing Pollution

Date: 20 05 2007

In an effort to control smog during the 2008 Olympics, Beijing officials planned to institute a number of pollution-curbing measures. One such measure is to limit the number of vehicles on the roads. The Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, held in Beijing on November 4-5, 2006, gave officials the opportunity to see just how much pollution would be reduced if traffic were restricted.

Cars, buses, power plants, factories, and homes all pump nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere when they burn fuel at high temperatures. Orbiting overhead once a day, OMI recorded nitrogen dioxide levels. From these measurements, scientists from Harvard University and KNMI estimated that nitrogen oxide emissions were reduced by 40 percent during the restriction period.

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Springtime Aerosols over Eastern Asia

Date: 05 05 2007

March 31, 2007, marked opening ceremonies for the first “Green China Day,” established to increase awareness of the need for environmental protection. As reported by ShanghaiDaily.com, however, the ceremony in Beijing saw an unwelcome guest: Gobi Desert dust. Roughly 2,000 kilometers south of the capital city, air quality also suffered, in this case from fires in Southeast Asia.

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Mount Etna's SO2 cloud observed above Greece

Date: 01 05 2007

On April 29, 2007 Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, has erupted on the southern Italian island of Sicily. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) in this cloud is observed by OMI a day later above Greece. Backward trajectory analyses confirms that the SO2 cloud over Greece comes from mount Etna.
Picture courtesy of Carn and Krueger (UMBC) and Krotkov (NASA GSFC).
Information can be obtained at KNMI (Pepijn Veefkind, Mirna van Hoek). Read more ...

Dust Dampens Hurricane Formation

Date: 18 04 2007

After 2005’s record hurricane season, Caribbean, Gulf Coast, and East Coast residents braced for more destruction in 2006, but the devastating storms never came.

Why the difference between 2005 and 2006? William Lau of NASA GSFC and Kyu-Myong Kim of University of Maryland-Baltimore County think the answer comes from the Sahara, namely dust. Using dust observations collected by OMI, they found that the Sahara sent an unusually large amount of dust over the Atlantic during the 2006 hurricane season. The researchers don’t yet know how great a part dust played in derailing hurricane formation in 2006, but they hope their work will fuel more studies.

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Satellite observations of air quality, climate and volcanic eruptions

Date: 15 03 2007

Satellite observations of atmospheric constituents have many applications in the area of climate research, air quality monitoring and security. Here, we will focus on the satellite observations of two important trace gases, NO2 and SO2. Applications are air quality monitoring and support to aviation control.

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Eruption of Mount Nyamulagira (Nyamuragira) (incl. animations)

Date: 08 12 2006

On November 27, 2006, Mount Nyamulagira erupted. Situated near the city of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the volcano posed a danger to nearby wildlife as the animals could fall ill after eating ash-coated vegetation. Although the full impact of the eruption was not immediately known, the city of Goma appeared safe from any resulting lava flow as another volcano, Mount Nyiragongo, would block the lava, according to the Associated Press.

Besides ash and possible lava, the volcano also released sulfur dioxide. OMI tracked the emission of this gas from the volcano from November 28 to December 4, 2006.

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Ozone Hole Reaches Record Size

Date: 21 10 2006

The 2006 ozone hole over the polar region of the Southern Hemisphere broke records for both area and depth. A little over a week after the ozone hole sustained its new record high for average area, satellites and balloon-based instruments recorded the lowest concentrations of ozone ever observed over Antarctica, making the ozone hole the deepest it had ever been.

This image, made from data collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite, shows the Antarctic ozone hole on September 24, 2006.

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Sulfur Dioxide Cloud from Rabaul Volcano

Date: 12 10 2006

On October 7, 2006, Rabaul Volcano on the northeastern tip of New Britain produced a large-scale eruption. According to ReliefWeb, the eruption shook windows and rained heavy ash and small stones on the city of Rabaul as authorities declared a state of emergency. Besides volcanic ash and steam, the eruption produced sulfur dioxide. Densely concentrated over the island of New Britain the day of the eruption, the sulfur dioxide dispersed over the next two days.

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Ozongat groter dan ooit gemeten

Date: 04 10 2006

Het ozongat boven het Zuidpoolgebied is dit jaar groter dan ooit werd gemeten. Dit volgt uit de meetreeks van de satellietinstrumenten GOME, SCIAMACHY en OMI.

In de analyse van het KNMI was op 1 oktober het ozonverlies groter dan het record in het jaar 2000. Ook de Wereld Meteorologische Organisatie maakt hier nu melding van. Het ozonverlies is de maat voor de hoeveelheid ozon die is afgebroken in het ozongat, en wordt bepaald door zowel het oppervlak als de diepte van het ozongat. Lees meer ...

Tungurahua Volcano in Ecuador

Date: 17 08 2006

The Tungurahua Volcano in Ecuador had been acting up for more than a month when it erupted ferociously in mid-August 2006. According to the Associated Press, the volcano destroyed 10 villages, and buried the homes of roughly 5000 people—as well as the pasture for their livestock—under tons of ash. Besides inundating the locals, Tungurahua Volcano spewed volcanic ash into the atmosphere. OMI measured the aerosols in the region the day after the volcano’s fierce eruption.

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UK Record Heatwave and Rising Pollution Observed by Eyes in the Sky

Date: 25 07 2006

As the UK bakes during this summer's heatwave, sensors in space (AATSR on ESA's ENVISAT and OMI op NASA's EOS-Aura) have been recording dramatic increases in both UK land temperature and in air pollution, particularly in major cities.
During a period of persistent stable summer weather from 15th and 19th July, temperatures rose to record highs for the U.K. and pollution due to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a respiratory inhibitor, appears to have risen considerably too; the Met Office reported that temperatures on July 19th reached a record maximum for July. Read more ...

Live OMI measurements of total Ozone and UV radiation on the Earth's surface

Date: 25 07 2006

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) delivers almost live OMI measurements of the amount of UV radiation on the Earth's surface (as UV-index and erythemally weighted dose) and the total amount of ozone in the atmosphere above Central and North Europe. The measurements of these so-called Very Fast Delivery (VFD) products are on-line within 30 minutes after observation.

During several overpasses per day, OMI has direct contact with FMI's Satellite Data Center at Sodankylä in Northern Finland. During those periods, OMI measurements are broadcasted directly to this data center and directly processed, using processing software from KNMI for cloud and ozone products and the software from FMI for UV processing. Read more ...

OMI Measures Volcanic Gas Cloud (quicktime movie 3,2 Mb)

Date: 13 07 2006

On May 20, 2006 a major lava dome collapse at the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat (West Indies) triggered an explosive emission of volcanic gases. The resulting gas cloud penetrated the stratosphere, reaching an altitude of ~20 km. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) in this cloud was tracked by OMI for 3 weeks as it moved westwards across the Pacific, before finally dissipating below detection limits over the Indian Ocean on June 11. See also (shorter but with Calipso measurements of same event). Read more ...

Satellietmissie Luchtkwaliteit en Klimaat geselecteerd door ESA

Date: 07 07 2006

De Europese Ruimtevaart Organisatie ESA heeft een satellietmissie, geleid door het KNMI, ten behoeve van luchtkwaliteit en klimaat geselecteerd voor verdere studie. Daarmee is de kans dat deze missie gerealiseerd wordt een stuk groter geworden. In dit z.g. TRAQ voorstel (TRopospheric Composition and Air Quality werkt het KNMI internationaal samen met als belangrijkste partner Frankrijk. SRON en de Nederlandse ruimtevaartindustrie zijn nauw betrokken bij het ontwerp van één van de TRAQ instrumenten (TROPOMI). Lees meer ...


Date: 30 06 2006

Scientists from NASA and other agencies have concluded that the ozone hole over the Antarctic will recover around 2068, nearly 20 years later than previously believed. Their findings, with lead author Paul Newman (OMI science team member from NASA-GSFC) have been published today in Geophysical Research Letters (Vol. 33, No. 12.)
For the first time, a model combines estimates of future Antarctic chlorine and bromine levels based on current amounts as captured from TOMS and OMI satellite observations, NOAA ground-level observations, NCAR airplane-based observations, with anticipated future emissions, the time it takes for the transport of those emissions into the Antarctic stratosphere, and assessments of future weather patterns over Antarctica. Read more ...

First global tropospheric maps show streams of tropospheric ozone crossing the oceans

Date: 28 06 2006

The monthly mean maps by the Aura instruments OMI and MLS of tropospheric ozone show pollution streaming from the U.S., Europe and China to the west in summer and pollution from biomass burning in the equatorial zone.
The tropospheric ozone measurements were made by subtracting the MLS stratospheric ozone from OMI column ozone. Read more ...

SO2 Emissions from Smelters

Date: 28 06 2006

The Peruvian copper smelters are among the world's largest industrial point sources of sulfur dioxide (SO2). OMI is sensitive enough to be able to identify the copper being emitted from the La Oroya and Ilo smelters even though these produce less SO2 than the volcanoes.
In addition to air quality applications, these data provide insights into the different lifetimes, dispersal etc of volcanic vs. industrial emission plumes. Read more ...

Asian Dust Storms (movie)

Date: 15 04 2006

Asia is suffering through the worst dust storm season in at least five years. The eighth major storm this year clogged the air over China, Korea, and Japan with sand from the Taklamkan and Gobi deserts. The sand picks up a toxic mix of heavy metals and carcinogens as the clouds pass over China's industrial areas, exacerbating health problems due to these storms. Read more ...

Dust Storm over Eastern China

Date: 15 03 2006

A large dust storm spread aerosols (airborne particles) over Asia and the Pacific starting on March 9, 2006. The storm reached the Beijing region on March 10, and the tiny particles remained aloft for several more days. The dust cloud remained intense as it migrated eastward from China over Korea and Japan. OMI captured these images on March 9, 11, and 13. Read more ...

Smoke over Southern United States

Date: 12 03 2006

A thick cloud of aerosols hung over part of North America on 12 March 2006. Aerosols, tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere, can result from a variety of sources, including dust storms, pollution, and smoke. This aerosol cloud, extending from northern Mexico through Kansas, likely resulted in a large part from fires in Texas and Oklahoma. Windy conditions that helped spread some wildfires might also have lofted dust particles into the air.

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Smog in Northern Italy

Date: 23 12 2005

In northern Italy, smog collected at the base of the Alps in late December 2005. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite captured this image.

As reported by Scotsman.com and the BBC, in the fall of 2005, a team of researchers at KNMI assessed the worst areas of air pollution in Europe. The researchers used data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite. In that study, northern Italy proved to be one of Europe’s more polluted areas.

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Europe's pollution hotspots shown

Date: 09 12 2005

Dutch OMI scientists are putting together remarkable maps showing pollution over Europe and other regions of the globe.
One map presented at the AGU conference, pulling together data gathered from May to September this year, showed expected high emissions over some of Europe's cities, and in particular over Antwerp, Rotterdam and the Ruhr. Read more ...

NASA Satellite Eyes Atmosphere to Improve Pollution and Climate Forecasting

Date: 08 12 2005

Thanks to the latest sophisticated, satellite-based instruments, local and regional air pollution and their sources can now be observed closely from space. Researchers using new, nearly up-to-the-hour data from NASA's Aura satellite are now tracking important pollutants such as ozone and nitrogen oxide. What's more, the satellite's first global observations of ice in clouds will provide climatologists, weather forecasters and public officials around the world the ability to make better predictions of future climate change. Read more ...

2005 Ozone Hole (incl. animations)

Date: 08 12 2005

The year 2005 marks the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of the ozone hole and the first full year that NASA’s Aura satellite has provided detailed images of the hole. Aura was launched in 2004 to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere, including the health of the delicate ozone layer. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument on Aura collected the data used to create this image on September 11, 2005, when the ozone hole covered 27 million square kilometers—its peak size for the season.

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NASA's Aura Satellite Peers Into Earth's Ozone Hole

Date: 07 12 2005

NASA researchers determined the seasonal ozone hole that developed over Antarctica this year is smaller than in previous years. NASA's 2005 assessment of the size and thickness of the ozone layer was the first based on observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on the agency's Aura spacecraft. Read more ...

Sierra Negra Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

Date: 22 10 2005

On October 22, 2005, one of the six volcanic summits on Isla Isabela in the Galapagos Islands archipelago began erupting. The Sierra Negra Volcano continued to emit ash clouds and lava through the end of the month. This image shows the average concentration of sulfur dioxide over the Sierra Negra Volcano from October 23-November 1 measured by OMI. Read more ...

Daily on-line measurements by OMI of tropospheric NO2 above Europe

Date: 18 10 2005

Since Tuesday 18 October everyone can check today's measurements of air pollution by nitrogen dioxide. Tropospheric NO2 amounts derived from measurements of the satellite instrument OMI are available on the KNMI web site within three hours after the observation. Read more ...

Eruption of Santa Ana (Ilamatepec) Volcano

Date: 03 10 2005

On October 1, 2005, El Salvador’s Santa Ana, or Ilamatepec, Volcano erupted for the first time since 1904. Besides ash, lava, rocks as big as cars, and a boiling flood of muddy water, Santa Ana’s eruption produced something else: sulfur dioxide (SO2).

This image combines OMI’s SO2 observations of the Santa Ana Volcano taken on October 1 and 2, 2005. The total cloud mass on October 1 was estimated at 10,000 tons, a relatively small eruption.

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OMI meet luchtvervuiling van bosbranden in Portugal

Date: 26 08 2005

Portugal wordt al wekenlang geteisterd door grote bosbranden. Bij deze branden komen ook luchtvervuilende gassen als stikstofdioxide en fijne deeltjes (aërosolen) vrij. Op OMI metingen zijn die goed te zien. Lees meer ...

Black Carbon in Smoke over Alaska

Date: 25 08 2005

OMI measures smoke by tracking black carbon particles, or soot, that absorb ultraviolet (UV) radiation, even if the smoke is mixed with or floating above clouds. By measuring how much UV radiation the soot absorbs, OMI provides estimates of the amount of black carbon aerosol in the smoke layer. Measurements of how much radiation aerosols absorb are important for scientists trying to calculate the net effect of aerosols on Earth's energy budget and climate. Read more ...

Air Quality Emergency in Malaysia

Date: 10 08 2005

Out-of-control fires burning on the eastern shore of Sumatra created an air quality emergency for neighboring Malaysia in early August 2005 as smoke shrouded parts of the country. The smoke hung thickly over Malaysia’s busy capital, Kuala Lumpur, where it forced businesses, schools, and transportation to close. This image, created using data collected by OMI, shows the density of the smoke on August 10, 2005.

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Eruption of Anatahan - part 3

Date: 08 08 2005

As reported by the Saipan Tribune Website, the Anatan Volcano spewed volcanic ash to an altitude of nearly 13,000 meters in early August, prompting officials to issue a volcanic ash advisory for Saipan and Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands. The volcano has emitted something besides ash: sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas, which was observed by OMI.

Between 25 and 31 July predominantly easterly winds carried the noxious SO2 emissions away from the populated islands. Between 2 and 8 August, however, changing winds allowed SO2 to accumulate over the Southern Mariana Islands and Guam.

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New Measurements of Arctic Ozone

Date: 21 06 2005

The winter of 2004-2005 saw the second highest chemical ozone destruction ever observed over the Arctic. Despite this, the lowest total column ozone values in polar regions were slightly higher in March than in January, on average. Stratospheric winds carried the ozone north into the Arctic, compensating for the significant chemical loss. And even though ozone values appeared to be near normal on average throughout March, some regions experienced much lower ozone levels -- and therefore, a greater exposure to UV light -- on an individual day. Read more ...

Gegevens Ozonmeetinstrument OMI actueel op internet

Date: 26 05 2005

De actuele ozonmeetgegevens van het nieuwe Nederlands-Finse ozonmeetinstrument OMI zijn vanaf vandaag voor iedereen dagelijks via internet te volgen. De ruimtevaartorganisatie NASA heeft na grondig onderzoek naar de kwaliteit van de ozonmeetgegevens groen licht gegeven voor publicatie van de metingen. Op de NASA website http://toms.gsfc.nasa.gov zijn zowel data als beelden beschikbaar. Lees meer ...

Mondiale luchtvervuiling nauwkeuriger in kaart gebracht

Date: 09 05 2005

Metingen van luchtvervuiling met satellieten geven tegenwoordig een betrouwbaar beeld van de luchtkwaliteit, maar kunnen verder worden verbeterd. Op donderdag 12 mei a.s. verdedigt Folkert Boersma van het KNMI aan de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) zijn proefschrift over het meten van stikstofdioxiden met satellietinstrumenten. Lees meer ...

Eruption of Anatahan - part 2

Date: 04 05 2005

Explosive volcanic eruptions inject gases and ash into the Earth's atmosphere, creating hazardous conditions for passing aircraft and the potential for climate effects.
The above image of Anatahan shows sulfur dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere on April 7, 2005, over 30 hours after the eruption, as measured by EOS-Aura OMI and MLS instruments. Read more ...

OMI Sees the Soot Within Smoke

Date: 13 04 2005

In the summer of 2004, more than 6.7 million acres went up in flames in Alaska. Smoke spread as far as Texas and Newfoundland. On August 21, 2004, two NASA satellites observed thick layers of soot-laced smoke billowing from the fires: Aqua's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Aura's Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Read more ...

Sulfur Dioxide Seeps from the Ambrym Volcano

Date: 31 03 2005

Sandwiched between Fiji and Australia in the South Pacific, the island nation of Vanuatu hosted the strongest point source of sulfur dioxide on the planet for the first months of 2005. Ambrym Volcano, on the island of the same name, has been steadily emitting sulfur dioxide for at least six months, and this image, produced using data collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite during the first ten days of March 2005, shows high concentrations of sulfur dioxide drifting northwest from the volcano.

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Eruption of Anatahan - part 1

Date: 31 01 2005

A long plume of sulfur dioxide extends northeast and southwest of the Anatahan volcano in the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The volcano has been erupting almost continuously since January 5, 2005, when it started its third eruption in recorded history.
This image, collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite, shows sulfur dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere between January 31 and February 4, 2005. Read more ...

Continued eruption of Manam volcano

Date: 28 01 2005

When the Manam volcano erupted explosively in the middle of the night on January 27, 2005, it sent a cloud of ash and sulfur dioxide over New Guinea. The large eruption killed at least one person, injured several others, and destroyed the volcano monitoring station on the small volcanic island. About 12 hours after the eruption (January 28), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) flew over on NASA's new Aura satellite. This image was produced from preliminary, uncalibrated data provided by OMI. Read more ...

Dutch schools help scientists validate aerosol measurements via GLOBE project

Date: 25 01 2005

What if, every day, a global network of students collected and shared measurements of small solid and liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere? Known as "aerosols" these tiny particles are important because some of them cool Earth's climate, and some of them impair human health. Read more ...

Up In The Air

Date: 12 01 2005

An interview in the Illinois Wesleyan Magazine with Richard Cebula, manager of the NASA-contracted team responsible for OMI's data processing system, and member of the U.S. OMI Science Team. Read more ...


Satellietwaarnemingen van luchtvervuiling

Date: 31 12 2004

Het is medio oktober als de relatieve rust in de afdeling Atmosferische Samenstelling van het KNMI abrupt verstoord wordt. Gedurende bijna een week staat het onderzoek even stil. Onderzoekers rennen van de microfoon van Radio-1 naar de telefoon waar de schrijvende pers uiteenlopend van NRC Handelsblad tot en met de Apeldoornse Courant aan de lijn hangt. Ook het NOS- en RTL-journaal komen polshoogte nemen. Zelfs de grote oliemaatschappijen tonen veel belangstelling. Wat is er aan de hand? Is de ozonlaag ineens verdwenen? Zijn er oorzaken van plotselinge klimaatverandering vastgesteld? Lees meer ...

First Aura image: Aura Eyes Ozone Hole over Antarctica

Date: 18 12 2004

This image is the first publicly released image from the Aura mission. Acquired by the mission's Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on September 22, 2004, the image shows dramatically depleted levels of ozone in the stratosphere over Antarctica.

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NASA Eyes Effects of a Giant 'Brown Cloud' Worldwide

Date: 15 12 2004

NASA scientists recently announced that a giant, smoggy atmospheric "brown cloud" that forms over South Asia and Indian Ocean has intercontinental reach, and has effects around the world.
Scientists studied the intercontinental smog or ozone processes associated with the "brown cloud" using a new NASA technique to combine data acquired by satellites with ozone data measured by instruments on special weather balloons. The brown cloud is a persistent, but moving, air mass characterized by a mixed-particle haze, typically brown in color. It also contains other pollution, such as ozone. Read more ...

NASA's Aura Satellite Sheds New Light on Air Quality and Ozone Hole

Date: 14 12 2004

Launched in July of 2004, the EOS-Aura satellite research platform is already providing the first-ever daily, direct global measurements of low altitude or tropospheric ozone and many other pollutants that affect our air quality. Moreover, Aura delivers its results with unprecedented clarity over a region. The instruments onboard will help scientists monitor pollution production and transport around the world.
Measurements taken from the satellite also offer the potential for new insights into how climate changes influence the recovery of the stratospheric or upper ozone layer, the protective region that shields the Earth from ultra-violet radiation. Read more ...

Eerste OMI resultaten laten grote dagelijkse variatie luchtvervuiling zien

Date: 23 11 2004

Dankzij satellieten is voor het eerst mogelijk om iedere dag de luchtvervuiling in Nederland en de rest van de wereld te zien tot op stadsniveau. Het blijkt dat in Nederland het verschil in luchtvervuiling van dag tot dag maar ook van plaats tot plaats sterk varieert. Dat zijn verrassende resultaten van het nieuwe satellietinstrument OMI, het Ozone Monitoring Instrument. Inmiddels stromen de eerste meetgegevens bij het KNMI in De Bilt binnen. Lees meer ...

Protecting our planet's ozone layer

Date: 03 10 2004

Monitoring our planet's atmosphere has become an international priority. As successive world summits have stressed, our future on Earth could depend on safeguarding our environment. EuroNews 'Space' magazine reports today from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) which is using instruments on several satellites to follow the evolution of ozone around the planet.
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Aura: A Mission Dedicated to the Health of Earth's Atmosphere

Date: 17 07 2004

On July 15, 2004 at 3:02 a.m., NASA launched the Aura satellite, the third flagship in a series of Earth-observing satellites designed to view Earth as a whole system, observe the net results of complex interactions within the climate system, and understand how the planet is changing in response to natural and human influences.

Aura was exclusively designed to study the composition, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth’s upper and lower atmosphere by employing four instruments on a single platform. Each instrument provides unique and complementary capabilities that will enable daily global observations of Earth’s atmospheric ozone layer, air quality, and key climate parameters.

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NASA Launches Aura Satellite (incl. launch animation movie)

Date: 16 07 2004

At 15 July 2004 NASA launched its Aura satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. On board 4 are 4 instruments (OMI, MLS, TES and HIRDLS). The purpose of the mission is to help us better understand and protect our world’s atmosphere.

Aura will help scientists answer three key questions: Is the Earth’s protective ozone layer recovering? What are the processes controlling air quality? How is the Earth’s climate changing?

Aura also will help scientists understand how the composition of the atmosphere affects and responds to Earth’s changing climate. The results from this mission will help scientists better understand the processes that connect local and global air quality. NASA expects early scientific data from Aura within 30-90 days.

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Aura Launched, To Better Understand The Air We Breathe

Date: 15 07 2004

Aura, a mission dedicated to the health of the Earth's atmosphere, was successfully launched today. This moment marks a tremendous achievement for the NASA family and our international partners. We look forward to the Aura satellite offering us historic insight into the tough issues of global air quality, ozone recovery and climate change, said NASA Associate Administrator for Earth Science Dr. Ghassem Asrar. Read more ...

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NASA Puts Safety First During Aura Launch

Date: 15 07 2004

NASA engineers and mission officials decided during multiple launch attempts this week to postpone the launch of the Aura satellite to put safety first for mission success. Aura, a mission dedicated to the health of the Earth's atmosphere, launched successfully this morning at 6:01:59 EDT (3:01:59 PDT). Read more ...

OMI met succes gelanceerd

Date: 15 07 2004

De Amerikaanse klimaatsatelliet AURA met aan boord het Nederlands-Finse Ozon Monitoring Instrument (OMI) is donderdagmiddag om 12.02 Nederlandse Tijd na een derde poging succesvol gelanceerd. Bij het KNMI, waar een kleine honderd genodigden de spannende lancering volgden, zijn daarna de champagneflessen ontkurkt.
Alle hobbels waar de lancering de vorige 2 dagen op bleef steken werden nu zonder problemen genomen en om 2 minuten over 12 vertrok de Delta II raket met NASA's EOS-Aura satelliet van de lanceerbasis Vandenberg Airforce Base in Californië. Lees meer ...

NASA Launch Advisory: Aura Launch Postponed

Date: 14 07 2004

The launch of NASA's Aura spacecraft atop a Boeing Delta II rocket was scrubbed this morning due to an issue with one of the two batteries on the second stage of the Delta II launch vehicle. At approximately three minutes before the scheduled liftoff time, as the batteries were being transferred to internal power, the battery current level dropped below prescribed limits, triggering a launch hold. Read more ...

NASA Plans to Put an Aura Around the Earth

Date: 03 06 2004

Earth's atmosphere sustains life in all these ways, and by the thinnest margins. If a person could cruise at a speed of 60 miles an hour straight up, it would take just 6 minutes to exit the air we need to survive. Considering the relatively delicacy of this thin protective film, understanding our atmosphere goes hand in hand with protecting life as we know it.
On June 19, NASA will launch Aura, a next generation Earth-observing satellite that will make global observations of the ocean of air that surrounds our planet. Aura will supply the best information yet about the health of Earth's atmosphere. Read more ...

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