Air Quality

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. Users can visualize imagery related to Air Quality in Worldview or download data using the links below.

  • Register to start downloading data.
  • Read the disclaimer for more information about using the data.

Aerosol Index

Aerosol Index

Aerosols absorb and scatter incoming sunlight, which reduces visibility and increases the optical depth. Aerosols have an effect on human health, weather and the climate. Sources of aerosols include pollution from factories, smoke from fires, dust from dust storms, sea salts, and volcanic ash and smog. Aerosols compromise human health when inhaled by people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses. Aerosols also have an affect on the weather and climate by cooling or warming the earth, helping or preventing clouds from forming.

Satellite-derived Aerosol Index products are useful for identifying and tracking the long-range transport of volcanic ash from volcanic eruptions, smoke from wildfires or biomass burning events and dust from desert dust storms, even tracking over clouds and areas of snow and ice.

Product: Instrument (Platform) and Download Link Description Browse imagery in Worldview
OMI (AURA) OMAERUV The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) AI indicates the presence of ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing particles in the air (aerosols) such as desert dust and soot particles in the atmosphere. The sensor resolution is 25 km, imagery resolution is 2 km, and the temporal resolution is daily. L2 Near UV Aerosol Optical Depth and Single Scattering Albedo Swath 13x24 km.
OMPS (Suomi-NPP) NMTO3NRT The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) AI indicates the presence of UV-absorbing particles in the air (aerosols) such as desert dust and soot particles in the atmosphere. The unitless range of the AI is from 0.00 to >=5.00, where 5.0 indicates heavy concentrations of aerosols that could reduce visibility or impact human health and this satisfies the needs of most users. However, the AI signal for pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) events, which are both dense and high in the atmosphere, can be much larger than 5.0. To provide better near real-time imagery for these high AI events, the pyroCb product with an upper AI limit of 50.0. The sensor resolution is 50 km, imagery resolution is 2 km, and the temporal resolution is daily. L2 Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Total Column Swath 13x24 km

Aerosol Optical Depth

Aerosol Optical Depth

Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) (or Aerosol Optical Thickness) indicates the level at which particles in the air (aerosols) prevent light from traveling through the atmosphere. Aerosols scatter and absorb incoming sunlight, which reduces visibility. From an observer on the ground, an AOD of less than 0.1 is “clean” - characteristic of clear blue sky, bright sun and maximum visibility. As AOD increases to 0.5, 1.0, and greater than 3.0, aerosols become so dense that sun is obscured. Sources of aerosols include pollution from factories, smoke from fires, dust from dust storms, sea salt, and volcanic ash and smog. Aerosols compromise human health when inhaled by people, particularly those with asthma or other respiratory illnesses. Aerosols also have an effect on the weather and climate by cooling or warming the earth, helping or preventing clouds from forming. Since aerosols are difficult to identify when they occur over different types of land surfaces and ocean surfaces, Worldview provides several different types of imagery layers to assist in the identification.

Product: Instrument (Platform)
Download link
Description Browse imagery in Worldview
MODIS (Terra)
MOD04_L2

MODIS (Aqua)
MYD04_L2
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS (Terra)) L2 Aerosol, 5-Min Swath 10km
doi:10.5067/MODIS/MOD04_L2_NRT.061

MODIS (Aqua) L2 Aerosol, 5-Min Swath 10km
doi:10.5067/MODIS/MYD04_L2_NRT.061

MODIS (Terra/Aqua)
MCDAODHD

MODIS (Aqua)
MYDAODHD

MODIS (Terra)
MODAODHD

L3 Value-added Aerosol Optical Depth
MODIS (combined)
doi:10.5067/MODIS/MCDAODHD.NRT.061

MODIS (Aqua)

doi:10.5067/MODIS/MYDAODHD_NRT.061

MODIS (Terra)

doi:10.5067/MODIS/MODAODHD.NRT.061

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, odorless and colorless gas. CO is produced by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass burning. It is one of the longest-lived, naturally occurring atmospheric carbon compounds. CO is a trace gas produced by methane oxidation, fossil fuel consumption (emitted from factories and cars) and biomass burning (from forest fires and agricultural burning). These measurements are useful for analyzing the distribution, transport, sources and sinks of CO in the troposphere and can be used to observe how it interacts with land and ocean biospheres. CO hinders the atmosphere’s natural ability to rid itself of harmful pollutants.

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

AIRS (Aqua)
AIRS2RET_NRT.006

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) Carbon Monoxide (CO) Total Column (Day/Night) layer indicates the amount of Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the total vertical column profile of the atmosphere (from Earth’s surface to top-of-atmosphere) and is measured in parts per billion by volume (ppbv).The imagery resolution is 2 km and sensor resolution is 45 km. L2 standard retrieval product using AIRS IR only

CO Total Column (Day/Night)


MLS (Aura)
ML2CO_NRT.004

The Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) Carbon Monoxide (CO) Mixing Ratio layer at 215 hPa (hectopascals) indicates carbon monoxide levels at the vertical atmospheric pressure level of 215hPa, and is measured in parts per billion by volume (ppbv). L2 Carbon Monoxide (CO) MLS/Aura NRT L2 CO Mixing Ratio

CO (215 hPa, Day/Night)

MOPITT (Terra)
MOP02R_NRT

The Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) Carbon Monoxide (Level 2, Daily, Day/Night, Total Column) layer shows the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) present in the total vertical column of the lower atmosphere (troposphere) and is measured in mole per square centimeter (mol/cm2) for the Day and Night overpasses, in near real-time (NRT). MOPITT NRT measurements use thermal-infrared radiation at 4.7 µm to produce CO total column abundance. MOPITT NRT Level 2 CO vertical profiles derived from Thermal Infrared Radiances.

CO (Level 2, Daily,
Day/Night, Total Column)

Corrected Reflectance Imagery

Corrected Reflectance Imagery

MODIS and VIIRS Corrected Reflectance imagery are available only as near real-time imagery. The imagery can be visualized in Worldview and Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS). More:

Information on MODIS Corrected Reflectance Imagery layers including

  • Corrected Reflectance True Color (Bands 1-4-3),
  • Corrected Reflectance (Bands 3-6-7)
  • Corrected Reflectance (Bands 7-2-1)

Information on VIIRS Corrected Reflectance Imagery layers including

  • Corrected Reflectance True Color (Bands I1-M4-M3),
  • Corrected Reflectance (Bands M3-I3-M11)
  • Corrected Reflectance (Bands M11-I2-I1)

Browse Corrected Reflectance imagery in Worldview

For more on the difference between Corrected Reflectance and Surface Reflectance Imagery

Dust

Dust

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

AIRS (Aqua)
AIRIBQAP_NRT.005
The AIRS Dust Score science parameter is a parameter of the AIRS Level 1B Infrared quality assurance subset (AIRIBQAP_NRT). The AIRS Dust Score (Ocean, Day | Night) layer indicates the level of atmospheric aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere over the ocean. The numerical scale is a qualitative representation of the presence of dust in the atmosphere, an indication of where large dust storms may form and the areas that may be affected. Pixels where the dust score is less than 360 are not shown in Worldview/GIBS. The imagery resolution is 2 km, sensor resolution is 45 km and the temporal resolution is daily. L1B IR quality assurance subset


Fire

Fire

The VIIRS and MODIS Fire and Thermal Anomalies layer shows active fire detections and thermal anomalies, such as volcanoes, and gas flares. Fires can be set naturally, such as by lightning, or by humans, whether intentionally or accidentally. Fire is often thought of as a menace and detriment to life, but in some ecosystems it is necessary to maintain the equilibrium, for example, some plants only release seeds under high temperatures that can only be achieved by fire, fires can also clear undergrowth and brush to help restore forests to good health, humans use fire in slash and burn agriculture, to clear away last year’s crop stubble and provide nutrients for the soil and to clear areas for pasture. The fire layer is useful for studying the spatial and temporal distribution of fire, to locate persistent hot spots such as volcanoes and gas flares, to locate the source of air pollution from smoke that may have adverse human health impacts.

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

MODIS (Aqua)
MYD14

MODIS (Terra)
MOD14

The MODIS Fire and Thermal Anomalies product is available from the Terra (MOD14) and Aqua (MYD14) satellites as well as a combined Terra and Aqua (MCD14) satellite product. The thermal anomalies are represented as red points (approximate center of a 1 km pixel) in Worldview/GIBS.

doi:10.5067/MODIS/MYD14.NRT.006 (Aqua)

doi:10.5067/MODIS/MYD14.NRT.006 (Terra)

MODIS Fires and Thermal Anomalies (Day/Night)

VIIRS (Suomi-NPP)
VNP14IMG_NRT
The VIIRS 375m I-band fire detections complements the MODIS fire detections; they both show good agreement in hotspot detection but the improved spatial resolution of the 375m data provides a greater response over fires of relatively small areas and provides improved mapping of large fire perimeters. The 375m data also has improved nighttime performance. Consequently, these data are well suited for use in support of fire management (e.g., near real-time alert systems), as well as other science applications requiring improved fire mapping fidelity.The thermal anomalies are represented as red points (approximate center of a 375 m pixel). VIIRS/Suomi-NPP Active Fires L2 Swath 375m

VIIRS Thermal Anomalies (Day/Night)

Nitric Acid

Nitric Acid

Nitric acid (HNO3) is a very water soluble, acidic gas. 
In the atmosphere it is formed by the conversion of nitrogen monoxide into nitrogen dioxide, and ultimately into nitric acid. It readily reacts with atmospheric water to produce acidic precipitation. Nitric acid also reacts with gaseous ammonia to form particulate or aerosol nitrate, which in turn is removed by wet and dry deposition of the particles. In the clean background troposphere, its removal in precipitation acts as a sink for odd hydrogen and nitrogen compounds and limits the formation of ozone.

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

MLS (Aura)
ML2HNO3_NRT.004

The MLS Nitric Acid (HNO3) Mixing Ratio at 46hPa layer indicates nitric acid levels at the vertical atmospheric pressure level of 46hPa, and is measured in parts per billion by volume (ppbv). It is derived from the MLS Nitric Acid (ML2HNO3_NRT) MLS/Aura NRT L2 HNO3 Mixing Ratio

Nitric Acid (46 hPa, Day/Night)

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is produced almost entirely at the Earth's surface, about 70% from biological processes (natural decay process of land and ocean) and the rest from human activities (e.g. agricultural fertilization and fossil-fuel burning). Since the 1950's an increase in N2O of about 0.3%/year has been seen in this important greenhouse gas.

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

MLS (Aura)
ML2N2O_NRT.004

The MLS Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Mixing Ratio layer at 46hPa (hectopascals) indicates nitrous oxide levels at the vertical atmospheric pressure level of 46hPa, and is measured in parts per billion by volume (ppbv). MLS/Aura NRT L2 N2O Mixing Ratio

Nitrous Oxide (46 hPa, Day/Night)

Ozone

Ozone

Ozone (O3) plays important roles in atmospheric chemistry and radiative balance throughout the atmosphere. Chemically, it is a powerful oxidant. Radiatively, it is an important greenhouse gas, particularly at 10 to 15 km. At the Earth's surface, it is a toxic component of air pollution with significant public health and agricultural impacts. The stratospheric ozone layer from 15 to 50 km absorbs UV radiation, protecting life at the surface and, through heating by the absorbed radiation, largely determines the temperature structure of the middle atmosphere.

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

MLS (Aura)
ML2O3_NRT.004

The MLS Ozone (O3) Mixing Ratio 46hPa (hectopascals) layer is derived from the MLS Ozone product (ML2O3_NRT) available from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument on the Aura satellite. The product indicates ozone levels at the vertical atmospheric pressure level of 46hPa, and is measured in parts per billion by volume (ppbv).The sensor resolution is 5 km, imagery resolution is 2 km, and the temporal resolution is twice daily (day and night). MLS/Aura NRT L2 O3 Mixing Ratio

Ozone (46 hPa, Day/Night)

OMPS (Suomi-NPP)
NMTO3NRT

OMPS NRT products complement the ozone NRT data already available from OMI
OMPS-Suomi-NPP L2 NM Ozone (O3) Total Column swath orbital NRT

Ozone

Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), is a colorless gas with a pungent, suffocating odor that is water soluble to produce the acid, H2SO3. SO2 is one of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) six major regulated criteria pollutants (Tropospheric Ozone [O3], Nitrogen dioxide [NO2], Sulfur dioxide, Lead, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates). It irritates the eyes, nose, and lungs. High concentrations of SO2 can result in temporary breathing impairment. It is produced by combustion of coal, fuel oil, and gasoline, since these fuels contain sulfur in the combustion, and in the oxidation of naturally occurring sulfur gases. It is a precursor to sulfuric acid, which is a major constituent of acid rain. SO2 is injected into the stratosphere by volcanic eruptions. SO2 also is a major precursor to PM2.5 (Particulate Matter up to 2.5 micrometers in size), which is a significant health concern, and a main contributor to poor visibility. These data are used by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers in advisories to airlines for operational decisions.

Product: Instrument, Platform and Download Link

Description

Browse imagery in Worldview

AIRS (Aqua)
AIRIBRAD_NRT.005

The AIRS Prata SO2 Index Day/Night layer indicates Sulfur Dioxide column amounts in the atmosphere, measured in Dobson Units (DU); it is science parameter is a derived parameter from the Level 1B Near-Real Time Infrared (IR) geolocated and calibrated radiances, (AIRIBRAD_NRT). The imagery resolution is 2 km and sensor resolution is 45 km. The temporal resolution is daily. L1B IR geolocated radiances

Sulfur Dioxide (Day/Night Prata Algorithm)

MLS (Aura)
ML2SO2_NRT.004
The MLS Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Mixing Ratio layer at 147hPa (hectopascals) indicates sulfur dioxide levels at the vertical atmospheric pressure level of 147hPa, and is measured in parts per billion by volume (ppbv). The sensor resolution is 5 km, imagery resolution is 2 km and the temporal resolution is twice daily (day and night). MLS/Aura NRT L2 SO2 Mixing Ratio

Sulfur Dioxide (147 hPa, Day/Night)

OMI (Aura)
OMSO2NRTb
The OMI Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Lower Troposphere layer indicates the column density of sulfur dioxide in the lower troposphere (corresponding to 2.5 km center of mass altitude (CMA)) and is measured in Dobson Units (DU). Sulfur Dioxide and Aerosol Index products are used to monitor volcanic clouds and detect pre-eruptive volcanic degassing globally. L2 Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Total Column Swath 13x24 km
SO2 Planetary Boundary Layer

Measures the tropospheric boundary-layer component of the total SO2 column measured in Dobson Units (DU).

SO2 Lower Troposphere

Indicates the column density of SO2 in the lower troposphere (corresponding to 2.5 km center of mass altitude (CMA)).

SO2 Middle Troposphere

Indicates the column density of sulfur dioxide in the middle troposphere (corresponding to 7.5 km center of mass altitude (CMA)).

SO2 Upper Troposphere and Stratosphere layer

Indicates the column density of sulfur dioxide in the upper troposphere and stratosphere (corresponding to 17 km center of mass altitude (CMA)) and is measured in Dobson Units (DU).




OMPS (Suomi-NPP)

NMSO2-PCA-L2-NRT

OMPS NRT products complement the sulfur dioxide NRT data already available from OMI
OMPS/Suomi-NPP PCA SO2 Total Column 1-Orbit L2 Swath 50x50km NRT

Air Quality in northern India

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 an article from NASA's Earth Observatory - 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.

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2019 at 2:51 PM EDT