Brazil Air Quality Affecting Children in City of Puerto Vuelo

Yahoo reported that the town of Puerto Vuelo has lines of parents waiting outside the local hospitals to get treatment for their children struggling to breathe due to the smoke created by the Amazon wildfire. The smoke in the region congests the lungs of young children in the region and even burning their eyes. Airports in the region have even been shut down due to the fire.

In the NASA Worldview images above it is clear that there is a concentrated amount of smoke in the region as shown by the dark red regions highlighted on the map. The smoke is visible from space as shown by the grey smoke emanating from the Amazon in the NASA Worldview image above.

The World Air Map, reports that on September 1st the AQI in the region reached a Red(Unhealthy Level) as the AQI reached 112 ppb well within the 96-115 ppb range that the US uses to rate their Unhealthy AQI category.  The region has also faced Very Unhealthy (116-374 ppb) levels many times within the last month.

Air Pressure and the Transportation of Particles

This NOAA HMS image above shows that smoke from the Swan Lake Fire in Alaska is traveling in an interesting flow(Figure 1). The NASA Worldview image shows that the smoke is following the low-pressure curves as shown by the gaps in the clouds(Figure 2).

This pattern is also shown by the NRL/Monterey Aerosol image above(Figure 3).  The concentrated dust surface concentration is caused by sand from the Sahara shown in the NASA Worldview image below, crossing over the Atlantic to the Tropical Atlantic Region(Figure 4). However, the sand is shown moving in a curved pattern due to Hurrican Dorian (circled in red below).


In the NRL/Monterey Aerosol image above there is a cluster of smoke over the Pacific Ocean(Figure 5). This is supported by the NASA Worldview image below where the smoke matches the area where there are no clouds located(Figure 6).

Moderate to Unhealthy Ozone Levels in California; Swan Lake Fire Persists While its Smoke Travels to the East Coast

The AirNow map shows there was Moderate (Yellow) and Unhealthy (Red) levels of ozone east of Fresno and Los Angeles, California on August 27th (Figure 1).  

Crestline and Kernville air quality stations both indicate 8-hour ozone values corresponding to the air quality index (AQI) ranges. According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the EPA begins warning at-risk groups at 55-70 ppb. Once ozone levels surpass 70 ppb, the AQI is reported to the public in that respective region by a range from “Good (Code Green)” all the way to “Hazardous (Code Purple).  

Above, the graph from AirNow-Tech displays a light blue curve (Crestline) and a yellow curve (Kernville)(Figure 2). At the Crestline station, 8-hour ozone values exceed 70 ppb starting at 7:00 UTC with a magnitude of 74 ppb (“Moderate”) and returning below the breakpoints at 19:00 UTC with a magnitude of 66 ppb (“Moderate”). The maximum ozone is at 105 ppb relating to the “Unhealthy” or “Code Red” range of AQI.

At the Kernville station, 8-hour ozone values exceed starting at 9:00 UTC and falling under 70 ppb at 18:00 UTC. The maximum ozone measurement is 103, which also corresponds to the “Unhealthy” or “Code Red” range of AQI.

Below, the table shows the exact values of ozone at each hour of the day at the air quality monitor stations(Figure 3).

NOAA’s HMS (Figure 4 and 5) shows heavy smoke in correspondence to the Swan Lake Fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness on August 27th. Five miles away from Sterling, Alaska, the incident spreads over 160,000 acres with only 28% of that perimeter contained. INCIWEB reports that the fire was started due to a lightning strike on June 5th, wildfires have endured to the month of August and do not intend to cease until temperatures drop and relative humidity rises. The estimated date of containment is said to be Sunday, September 15th, 2019.







Agricultural Fires Taking Place in Central Africa

Agricultural fires taking place in Central Africa is leading to large amounts of smoke being released into the atmosphere. The Nasa Worldview image above shows the smoke coming from the fires lit all over Central Africa (Figure 1). Due to so many fires being lit at the same time these fires are releasing a high amount of smoke particles as shown by the NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below which shows a smoke concentration of more than 250 ug/m^3 (Figure 2).

The Global Forest Watch Fire image below shows the multitude of fires that are all taking place at the same time, which due to all being at the same time shows up on a global scale (Figure 3). In an article by the European Space Agency on February 4th, 2019, they reported that these fires, “contribute 25–35% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.”

Amazon Fire Leading to Extreme Levels of PM in Air; Sheridan Fire Being Used for Good

The NRL/Monterey Aerosol image above shows that a massive fire in the Amazon Rainforest is leading to an extreme level of Smoke Concentration levels in South America. The smoke concentration in South America exceeds 512 ug /m^3 (Figure 1).

The Nasa Worldview image above shows the smoke coming from the fire, it looks much paler and grey than the clouds and smoke around it (Figure 2). Below the high AOD concentration matches the same places that the smoke are coming from (Figure 3). 

The HMS image below shows the Sheridan Fire that is taking place in Prescott National Forest in Arizona on August 21st (Figure 4). The fire had been started by lightning, but INCIWEB reports that the fire is being used to, “to reduce fuels and improve resource conditions in the area.”

Sahara Sand almost Halfway Across Atlantic Ocean; Sulfate Concentration Increasing on the Eastern US

The Nasa Worldview image above shows sand and dust have been detected going over the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara Desert (Figure 1). The sand is almost halfway across the Atlantic Ocean on August 20th (Figure 1) as compared to August 19th (Figure 2).

The HMS image above shows that the AOD concentration in the Eastern United States is at a higher level (0.4 to 1.0 ppm) than usual (0.0 to 0.4 ppm) (Figure 3). This may be caused due to a high sulfate sulfur concentration in the Eastern United States as shown in by the NRL/Monterey Aerosol Page (Figure 4).

Swan Lake Fire in Alaska; Unhealthy PM 2.5 Levels in Anchorage

The HMS image above shows smoke that was released from the Swan Lake Fire (Figure 1).  INCIWEB reports that the fire will be contained by Saturday, August 31st. The fire had been started by lightning in a remote area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness. Most highways in the region have been reopened. In good news, the fire has been reported to have some ecological benefits for the region as unhealthier trees have been burned down and younger plants have started to sprout.

The AirNow Tech graph above shows that the PM 2.5 levels in Anchorage reached into the 108-130 ppm range (Figure 2).  This constitutes a Code Red (Unhealthy) level of PM 2.5 in the area (Figure 2).

Smoke from Canada blown Westward; Houston Texas had Unhealthy Ozone Levels

The HMS image above shows that smoke from Canada has been blown westward from the Alberta/British Columbia provinces to the Pacific Ocean (Figure 1). The areas of moderate smoke in Alberta coincide with the fire hotspots provided by Natural Resources Canada (Figure 2).

The AirNow map shows Code Red (Unhealthy) ozone levels in Houston Texas (Figure 3). An ozone air quality monitor in Deer Park Houston shows 8-hr ozone averages rising into the 100-107 ppb range. This AirNow-Tech data corresponds to the Code Red AQI (Figure 4).