Accurate early warnings of poor air quality are useful because they give people the option to reduce their risk of exposure to poor air by limiting outdoor activity at these times. Air quality forecasters use near real-time (NRT) data from NASA's Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) to improve some local and national air quality forecasts.
Potentially useful data sets:
- Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) (Suomi-NPP)
- Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (Aqua/Terra) corrected reflectance and aerosol index
- Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) carbon monoxide (CO) (total column) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) (day and night)
- Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aerosol optical depth, absorbing aerosol optical depth and aerosol index
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Visualize NRT data related to Air Quality in Worldview
The skies over the Indo-Gangetic Plain — a river valley that includes parts of Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh — are among the haziest in the world. Those four countries regularly come in near the bottom of annual rankings for air quality. As described in the Earth Observatory article, Seasons of Indian Air Quality, air quality varies throughout the year. This image shows a dust storm obscuring most land features. In October and November numerous agricultural fires from crop-burning cause large smoke plumes lingering downwind.
Downloadable NRT data related to Air Quality