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

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

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