Navigation Links
Space sensors shed new light on air quality
Date:10/22/2007

Air pollution is becoming one of the biggest dangers for the future of the planet, causing premature deaths of humans and damaging flora and fauna. With their vantage point from space, satellites are the only way to carry out effective global measurements of air-polluting emissions and their transboundary movement.

Scientists and researchers from around the world gathered at ESRIN, ESAs Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, last week to discuss the contribution of satellite data in monitoring nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere and to present the latest results of their ongoing atmospheric research that includes identifying hotspots, analysing trends and monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation efforts.

All of the satellite data used by the participants was acquired through the TEMIS project, part of ESAs Data User Programme (DUP). The TEMIS Internet-based service offers near-real time data products, long-term data sets and forecasts from various satellite instruments related to tropospheric trace gas concentrations, aerosol and Ultra Violet radiation.

Emissions of gaseous pollutants have increased in India over the past two decades. According to Dr Sachin Ghude of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and traffic growth are most likely responsible for the increase. Because of varying consumption patterns and growth rates, the distribution of emissions vary widely across India. In order to mitigate the causes of pollution, policy makers need to know the hardest hit regions.

Using nitrogen dioxide (NO2) data acquired from 1996 to 2006 by the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) instrument aboard ESAs ERS-2 satellite and the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument aboard ESAs Envisat, Ghude was able to identify the major NO2 hotspots, quantify the trend over major industrial zones and identify the largest contributing regions.

"Nitrous oxide emissions over India is growing at an annual rate of 5.5 percent/year and the location of emission hot spots correlates well with the location of mega thermal power plants, mega cities, urban and industrial regions," Ghude said. "Data from the 11-year time series of GOME and SCIAMACHY provide valuable information to improve estimates of nitrogen dioxide emissions as well as to identify the source regions and to study the regional ozone chemistry in light of seasonal meteorology."

Because of the near-real time aspect of the TEMIS service, Yuxuan Wang, lecturer and research assistant at Harvard University, was able to obtain accurate measurements of the air quality over China during a traffic restriction using data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instrument on NASAs Aura satellite.

Between 4 and 6 November 2006, 30 percent or 800 000 of Beijing's 2.82 million private vehicles were taken off the streets to facilitate organisation for the China-African summit and to perform a trial for the 2008 Olympic Games.

By comparing the satellite observations with ground measurements and a global chemical transport model, Wang and her colleagues learned that the model did not capture the full amount of decrease in NO2 over Beijing during the summit.

"Because the satellites witnessed this event, we could draw a quantitative analysis of how much reduction happened by using this independent dataset. We saw a 40 percent reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions," Wang said.

"TEMIS offers near real time data, allowing me to see daily measurements over Beijing with about a 2-hour time lag. When our group knows about traffic restrictions, we just go to the TEMIS website, download the data from that day and see whether there is a reduction in emissions picked up by satellites," she continued. "TEMIS, which allows very easy and open data access, is a big contribution of ESA to the whole community, not only for the European users but across the world, especially for places without in situ measurements."

Simon Hales, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Otaga in New Zealand, is using satellite data from TEMIS to look at seasonal patterns of heart disease in New Zealand for the National Heart Foundation and to assess the global burden of disease related to air pollution.

"The big advantage of using satellite data from the point of view of public health is that it gives us spatially extensive coverage that we do not get any other way," he explained. "Because newer instruments like SCIAMACHY and OMI are able to approximate some of the vertical profiles of NO2, you have a better idea of what people are actually being exposed to on the ground."

By using NO2 satellite data and relating it to surface observations, Hales hopes to develop a model of the surface exposure levels, determine what the exposure levels mean in terms of public health implications and work out what the policy implications are for changing emission-releasing practices, such as reducing transport from motor vehicles.

The service providers are currently planning to expand the existing TEMIS service to monitor the transboundary and hemispheric movement of air pollution.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Immune cells halt round in space
2. Space research leads to needle-free blood tests
3. Doctors Ask MPs To Protect Human Rights By Banning Smoking In Enclosed Public Spaces
4. Space suit technology to Protect Against Heat Strokes
5. Needed, more space for womens sexual identity on marquees
6. Spacers Score Over Nebulizers in Childhood Asthma Treatment
7. Astronauts Spacewalk On The International Space Station – NASA Report
8. Effect of Prolonged Stay in Space Studied Using Fruit Flies
9. Exercise in Space Prevents Kidney Stone Formation in Astronauts
10. Headspace to the Rescue of Mentally Ill Youngsters
11. Experiments In Outer Space To Determine single Cell Survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued an ... extreme heat at their worksites. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with growing colorful split screen ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color brings the split screens ... reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful panels. , ProSlice Color ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... TherapySites, the leading website and online ... Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to extend their ... benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this new partnership, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based company, ... for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... One of Australia,s successful biotechnology ... a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ... to list on the ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready ... a Phase 1 clinical study later this year. ... the biggest problems facing cancer patients - the ability of cancers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ... Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with ... ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz ... under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ... will take whatever measures required to build a strong ... which is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current ... Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in ... understand, not only by the Company, but shareholders and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: