Topic 1f - What we measure – overview of key parameters
Through the use of satellites and in situ data, many different elements of the atmosphere can be measured. It is important to use both satellite and in situ data so we can get as many measurements as possible. Measurement stations on the ground can provide information about local air quality, and satellites provide measurements over wide areas.
Things that we can measure include:
-The Ozone layer
Carbon Dioxide (CO2),
Methane (CH4 ),
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
-Fire radiative power
-Aerosol optical depth
There are also things that we cannot measure from Space, such as indoor pollution which can be from domestic fuel burning, and also things such as pollen and mold, and formaldehyde from furniture. Around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using solid fuels on open fires or traditional stoves, and 4.3 million people a year die from the exposure to household air pollution.
Prof. John Burrows
Dr Rosemary Munro
Optional mini task
For this optional mini task download the NASA Visualization Explorer app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store here. Once downloaded click on the menu button located on the top left and select Earth from under the Stories by Topic section.
Have a look through the various stories and see what you can find in relation to atmosphere. One example would be “Carbon Dioxide in 3-D”, however there are many more options. Share your findings below.
Don’t forget you can download the video, transcript and take any quizzes available with the links on the right.
Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide, Aerosol PM10, and Aersol PM2.5 forecasts for Europe on 15 November 2016