New data from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared (AIRS) instrument aboard the Aqua satellite show high-carbon motion related to fires in the Amazon region of Brazil.
This series of maps introduces carbon monoxide at an altitude of 5,500 meters above sea level (5,500 meters) from August 8 to 22, 201
Each "day" of the series is made by averaging three-day measurements, a technique used to correct data gaps. Green means carbon monoxide concentrations of approximately 100 parts per billion (ppbv); yellow, about 120 ppbv; and dark red, at about 160 ppbv. Local values can be significantly higher.
A pollutant that can travel long distances, carbon monoxide can stay in the atmosphere for about a month. At the high altitude depicted in these images, gas has little effect on the air we breathe; however, strong winds can carry it down to where it can significantly affect air quality. Carbon monoxide plays a role in both air pollution and climate change.
AIRS, in conjunction with the Extended Microwave Sound Module (AMSU), senses infrared and microwave radiation from Earth to provide a three-dimensional view of Earth's weather and climate. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the instruments create a global, three-dimensional map of atmospheric temperature and humidity, cloud volumes and altitudes, greenhouse gas concentrations and many other atmospheric phenomena.
The AIRS and AMSU instruments are operated by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, under contract with NASA. JPL is a division of Caltech.