Most individuals are unaware of how particulate matter impact health. NASA’s satellite imagery has always been associated with weather and climatic upheavals. However, images from NASA’s Earth Observatory throw up interesting information about something that most people tend to ignore. The fine particles of dust and smoke and water in the atmosphere as a result of the raging fires and storms are visible from up above.
Emissions from cars and fecal matter actually bombard everyone with a frequency not imagined. The Goddard Earth Observing Forward Processing model relied on data-driven inputs to visualize the impact of the atmosphere. The resultant vivid imagery that is color-coded, clearly displays who events impacted the atmosphere.
The images captured with great detail the smoke from the wildfires in California, the throwing up of the salt of the sea from the Pacific Ocean and other aerosols on a single date – this Aug 23. The fires which spewed carbon particulate matter was displayed as glowing red in the visualization, which was similar to the glowing red over parts of Africa that indicated the controlled fires started by farmers in the region. Interestingly, sea salt was depicted in blue and this was visible in large swathes near Hawaii when Hurricane Lane made landfall. Similarly, sea salt aerosols were witnessed near South Korea and Japan at the same time, courtesy Soulik and Cimaron, the twin typhoons that hit the shores.
The imagery clearly helped distinguish the dust particles that swirled across the great Sahara and the Taklamakam Desert. The billowing smokes and raging seas that kicked up the salt sprays were picked up by the Earth Observatory in sharp detail and visualized crisply showing how the atmosphere is a giant canvass of fine particles that burst and sweep across whole nations.
The Environmental Protection Agency clarified that there are many aerosols that can be clearly visible to the naked eye and these include common place particles including smoke from intense fires, volcanic ash spewed from mountains, from the dust kicked up in massive construction sites, to the smokestacks in farms and from dusty roads in the hinterlands of many nations.