Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA instrument tracks pollution from Russian fires

Date:
August 8, 2010
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Drought and the worst heat wave Russia has seen in 130 years have sparked a devastating outbreak of wildfires across the nation this summer, primarily in the country's western and central regions.

Carbon monoxide pollution from the series of devastating wildfires burning across central and western Russia, as seen by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft on Aug. 1, 2010. The AIRS data show the abundance of carbon monoxide present in the atmosphere at an altitude of 5.5 kilometers (18,000 feet).
Credit: NASA/JPL/Leonid Yurganov, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Drought and the worst heat wave Russia has seen in 130 years have sparked a devastating outbreak of wildfires across the nation this summer, primarily in the country's western and central regions.

According to wire service reports and Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, as of Aug. 6, 2010, some 558 fires were burning. The fires have killed at least 52 people, destroyed some 2,000 homes and charred more than 1,796 square kilometers (693 square miles). Russia's capital city of Moscow is currently blanketed in a thick smog, which has curtailed activities and disrupted air traffic. According to the Associated Press, levels of carbon monoxide pollution in Moscow are at an all-time high, four times higher than normal.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft is tracking the concentration and transport of carbon monoxide from the Russian fires. The figures presented here show the abundance of carbon monoxide present in the atmosphere at an altitude of 5.5 kilometers (18,000 feet). AIRS is sensitive to carbon monoxide in the mid-troposphere at heights between 2 and 10 kilometers (1.2 and 6.2 miles), with a peak sensitivity at an altitude of approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). This region of Earth's atmosphere is also conducive to the long-range transport of the pollution that is lofted to this altitude.

As shown in a new image, acquired July 21, 2010, the concentration of carbon monoxide from the fires on that date was largely limited to the European part of Russia (western and central Russia). This contrasts dramatically with the data in another image, acquired on August 1, when the carbon monoxide concentration was much higher and the area of the fires had increased significantly. The concentration of carbon monoxide is continuing to grow. According to Aug. 4 NASA estimates, the smoke plume from the fires spans about 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) from east to west, approximately the distance from San Francisco to Chicago.

Scientists tracked the changes in the total amount of carbon monoxide above western Russia in megatons through August 1, 2010, compared to the base year of 2009, which saw normal levels of seasonal carbon monoxide. This is contrasted against the year 2002, when peat fires predominated in Russia. The 2002 data are from the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft. On August 1, 2010, the excess carbon monoxide content almost reached the maximum values seen in 2002. The rate of growth (approximately 0.7 megatons, or 700,000 metric tons, per day) characterizes the rate of emission; the current rate is approximately three times higher than in 2002.

AIRS is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., under contract to NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. More information about AIRS can be found at http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA instrument tracks pollution from Russian fires." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100807213919.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2010, August 8). NASA instrument tracks pollution from Russian fires. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100807213919.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA instrument tracks pollution from Russian fires." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100807213919.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins