Daily Archives: September 11, 2023

Can we measure air pollution from satellites?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates weather satellites with instruments capable of locating fires and determining fire characteristics such as size and intensity. These satellites also are critical to observing and monitoring smoke from those fires.

NASA recently launched a new satellite instrument to monitor air pollution. The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution, or TEMPO, was launched into geostationary orbit on April 6, 2023. TEMPO measurements join an international satellite constellation of observations that will track pollution around the globe. The instrument measures sunlight reflected off Earth’s surface and solar energy scattered by clouds and the atmosphere. Gases in the atmosphere absorb sunlight at particular wavelengths, and the measured color spectra is used to determine the concentrations of several gases in the air, including nitrogen dioxide. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Weather Dangers

Comments Off on Can we measure air pollution from satellites?