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Health and Air Quality Articles

Photo of industrial smoke stacks.

New! Find research-quality nitrogen dioxide data to assess regional air quality and potential trends in industrial activity.

Every year, around 7 million deaths occur due to exposure from air pollution and 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists, health officials, and air quality managers around the globe are conducting research into this silent but deadly killer. With the information acquired from both ground-based and satellite- based data, decision makers are able to monitor and respond to events. These articles, many from the Sensing Our Planet series, highlight some of these efforts.

List of Articles

Aerosols | Air Quality | Atmospheric Chemistry

Aerosols are particulate matter, like dust, ash and smoke, from both natural or anthropogenic, or human-caused, sources. They are found in the atmosphere around the globe.

A Burning Question
Atmospheric aerosols’ effect on surface temperatures.

Aerosols over Australia
Researchers explore the links between atmospheric aerosols, climate change, and ultraviolet rays.

Effects of Emissions on Climate Change
Qualitative improvement of the IPCC scenarios.

Following the World Trade Center plume
Remote sensing helps track the drift of harmful pollutants following the World Trade Center collapse.

Himalayas heat pump
Polluted air over Asia is changing patterns in remote mountain ranges.

Nature’s contribution
Researchers investigate how much wildfires contribute to pollution, and how far this pollution can travel.

Smoke over Athens
The effects of forest fires show up in a multi-satellite view of pollution.

The power of particles
Can smoke spark severe tornadoes?

Volatile trees
Forests fill the air with more than just a fresh scent.

Volcanoes and Climate Change
Large-scale volcanic activity may last only a few days, but the massive outpouring of gases and ash can influence climate patterns for years.

When the Dust Settles
Each year, several hundred million tons of African dust are transported westward over the Atlantic to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Air Quality
Air quality is impacted by elements in the atmosphere, such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and tropospheric ozone. These elements can react with others, forming particulate matter and ozone, producing haze and even acid rain.

A black cloud over Cairo
The source of a yearly scourge is revealed.

A rising problem
Tackling Denver's ozone requires looking high and low.

Carbon control
Radiocarbon and satellite data hint at the future of California emissions.

Crazy bad air
Open sharing of pollution data helps Chinese netizens brave the politics of murky air.

Crisis in the Crescent
Drought turns the Fertile Crescent into a dust bowl.

Critical Chemistry
Mapping out global distribution and concentrations of reactive nitrogen species — a chemical precursor to ozone.

Heart disease is in the air
The air you breathe could be harming your heart.

How to Find and Visualize Nitrogen Dioxide Satellite Data
Find research-quality nitrogen dioxide data to assess regional air quality and potential trends in industrial activity.

On the trail of global pollution drift
Scientists use NASA's Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) to study drifting pollution and its sources.

Out of Africa
Researchers revise the story behind Puerto Rico’s 2015 drought.

Pollution trials for the Beijing Olympics
Satellites reveal that traffic restrictions successfully reduced atmospheric nitric oxide by 40 percent.

Probing the Arctic atmosphere
One of the least industrial areas of Earth is a crossroads for pollution.

Regional pollution goes local
Distant pollution sources worsen local air quality in southeastern Texas.

Under CATS eyes
Tracking a volcanic plume reaches new heights, faster.

Atmospheric Chemistry
There are many elements that make up our atmosphere, like nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon. How they react with other elements influence atmospheric chemistry.

A new pole hole
In winter 2011, an ozone hole appeared over the Arctic for the first time.

Carbon Conundrum
Research results highlight the role of new data sets in understanding global change, Schimel said, as well as the usefulness of computer models that connect the atmosphere and the biosphere.

In the Arctic darkness
Beneath a frozen surface, stirrings.

Mercury raining
Today's forecast calls for atmospheric explosions and mercury rain.

Outer Limits
Upper atmosphere's role in Earth's climate remains to be determined.

The UARS Cornucopia: A Legacy of Research
Nine years after its initial deployment, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is more than just an antiquated piece of metal floating around in space.

UARS: A Model Dataset
The UARS satellite has revolutionized our view of the mesosphere.

Data User Profiles

Meet some of the scientists using Earthdata using data for health and air quality research and applications.

Dr. Emily Fischer uses Earth observation data to better understand how pollutants move in the lower atmosphere.

Dr. Steven Massie uses remotely-sensed data to better understand how aerosols have a huge impact on on climate and human health and improve how aerosols are detected by Earth-observing satellites.

Dr. Róisín Commane uses NASA Earth science data to study the effects of terrestrial pollution on the atmosphere’s chemical composition.

Dr. Santiago Gassó uses NASA Earth science data to study the concentration and global movement of dust.

Greg Jenkins uses NASA Earth science data to study weather, climate, atmospheric chemistry, and air quality of West Africa.

Jun Wang uses NASA Earth science data to study atmospheric composition and climate change; remote sensing of aerosols, clouds, and trace gasses and the effects of these on global weather and climate.

Explore more Data User Profiles

Tools and Technology

EOSDIS SIPS and their Role Ensuring Consistent Long-Term Global Observations of Atmospheric Ozone
NASA's OMI and OMPS Science Investigator-led Processing Systems (SIPS) ensure that ozone data collected by instruments aboard the Aura and Suomi-NPP satellites reach global users.

MODIS/Terra Collection 6 Aerosol, Cloud, and other Atmospheric Level-2 and Level-3 Products Released
Atmosphere Team algorithm developers have released Terra Collection 6 (C6) reprocessing and forward processing product streams.

MOPITT data now available in LANCE
Global carbon monoxide data from the MOPITT instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite are the newest near real-time products available through the Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) system.

NASA’s ASDC to House SAGE III Atmospheric Data Products
NASA’s ASDC will be the home for more than a half-dozen new atmospheric data products from the upcoming SAGE III mission.

OMPS Near Real-Time Data
Near real-time ozone and sulfur dioxide data products from the OMPS instrument are now available through the Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) system.

Page Last Updated: Nov 23, 2020 at 4:13 PM EST