Aerosols over Central and Eastern Europe #2661

#2661 Aerosols over Central and Eastern Europe by JVPD
Particulate air pollution is a complex mixture of particles of varying origins and compositions. Determining the type and abundance of tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols, is needed for monitoring air quality and for understanding climate change. During the last weeks of March 2003, unusually high and widespread aerosol pollution was detected over Europe by several satellite-borne instruments. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite determines aerosol amount and information about particle properties by examining the variation in scene brightness at different view angles. These images and data products illustrate the amount of aerosols on two dates over parts of Central and Eastern Europe, from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Adriatic Sea in the south. Two groups of three panels are shown. Within each group, the left and center views are natural-color images from MISR's vertical-viewing (nadir) and most obliquely forward-viewing cameras, respectively, and the right-hand panel is a map of retrieved aerosol amount, parameterized by a quantity called the optical depth. A color scale is used to represent this quantity, and high aerosol amount is indicated by yellow or green pixels, and clearer skies are indicated by blue pixels. The left-hand group of panels is comprised of data acquired on February 23, 2003, when most of the land area was still partially frozen. The right-hand group of panels portrays the same area about one month later, on March 27. The nadir camera enables surface features to stand out most clearly, whereas MISR's oblique cameras enhance sensitivity to even thin layers of aerosols. In the March image, the only strong indications of haze from the nadir view are the thin tendrils of grayish pixels over the dark waters of the Baltic Sea.

Photo Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team [0003-0612-3120-1007] by 0003

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aerosol, aerosols, aerosols over central and eastern europe, air pollution, earth science, environment, environmental, europe, jpl, nasa, pollution