December 10, 2013

Raised AQI values in Pacific Northwest due to residential and local fires.

The first image below, courtesy NOAA HMS, shows the fire locations across the United States. The red dots correspond to active fires, and the grey areas are plumes. The major concentration of fires is in the Southeast region, Central Plains and Pacific Northwest region. Although there is a large concentration of fires, there is little smoke being picked up by HMS. The next image shows the retrieved AOD image for the day, courtesy MODIS Terra. There is a small increase in AOD in the Baja California region and off the coast of the Carolinas.

The next image, courtesy EPA AIRNOW, shows the AQI values the country. There are strong code yellows and oranges in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a few code reds in Oregon, most likely due to localized fires and residential wood fires. There are also nitrates present throughout the Northeast region. Due to the massive snow storms in the eastern half of the country, satellite measurements in this region have been difficult. Below, the GEOS-5-CHEM model shows an increase in AOD in Texas and stretching through the Southeast and upwards to the Northeast region.

Additionally, AQI values in Shanghai, China have been reaching extremely high values. Automobiles were actually outlawed for a brief time this week to help prevent accumulation of pollutants. Here is an interesting link for Real Time Shanghai AQI values and an article showing some of the recent Photos and Images. A heat map from a Greenpeace analysis of NOAA data shows how the smog has traveled from coal-burning regions into the city. Orange shows the highest concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and the pollutant's trajectory. The sources come from coal regions Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong and Henan.

Posted by John Sullivan at December 10, 2013 4:41 PM
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